Supervising PhD Candidates: Next Level (2022-I)


Target group

This advanced course is for experienced supervisors of PhD candidates registered at the GSLS. Participants have supervised at least 5 PhD candidates until the finish line. Generally, they have their own research group/lab, are at (associate) professor level, and have a formal role within their department or faculty. Language of instruction is English. Are you a relatively new supervisor? Have a look at the course Supervising PhD Candidates at the GSLS.

Course description

This advanced course is for experienced supervisors who know the principles of research supervision but want to sharpen their effectiveness in specific situations. These may include complexities in team supervision, addressing unpleasant behaviour, giving feedback efficiently, or dealing with time management issues as one's responsibilities become greater.

Learning objectives

After this course:

  • You have reflected on your own supervision practice.
  • You have gained insight in your own strengths and areas of development.
  • You will be able to apply didactical insights (theories) to your own supervision practice.
  • You have broadened your supervision skills (e.g., coaching & conversation skills, feedback skills).
  • You will be able to signal problem behaviour in time, and deal with difficult situations in your supervision practice from a broader perspective.
  • You have tried out interventions to optimise your supervision practice to meet PhD candidates’ needs.

Instructional method

The programme takes place in an open, safe setting, and there is room for topics suggested by the group, including topics at the institutional level. Participants work on a personal learning question during the course. Using the existing literature, participants analyse cases and practice within and outside their comfort zone via assignments and coaching. 

  • Individual intake: challenges and wishes.
  • Session 1: Strategies to stimulate independence (structure vs. letting go).
  • Individual coach meeting: personal learning question.
  • Session 2: Monitoring progress, making implicit expectations explicit.
  • Session 3: Team supervision / Conversation techniques / Topic of choice.

This course is relevant for supervisors who want to obtain their Senior Teaching Qualification (SKO).


Dr. Marjolein Cremer, Educational Consultancy & Teacher Development (O&T), Utrecht University.

Group size

7 to 8 participants.

Individual meeting

Week 40 & 41: individual intake (questionnaire)

Course schedule


Study load

In addition to the intake and scheduled sessions, you should take into account an extra study load of approximately 2 hours per session (8 hours in total). This study load generally consists of homework assignments in preparation for the next session.

Cancellation and No-show policy

This course is free for (co-)supervisors of GSLS PhD candidates. However: free of charge does not mean free of responsibility. Once you have signed up for a course, we expect you to attend. For every late cancellation or no-show we have had to disappoint others who would have liked to attend. This is our policy:

  • You may cancel free of charge up to 4 weeks before the start of the course. After this date you can only cancel if you have a (co-)supervisor of a GSLS PhD candidate to replace you in the course. Send the name and contact information of your replacement to, at least 2 working days before the start of the course;
  • We expect that you actively attend the full course, but at least 80%. It is mandatory to attend the first session. If you are absent the first session you cannot follow the remaining of the course;
  • Not meeting the above requirements means you will be charged a no-show fee (€ 373). We will send the invoice after the course has ended. We are unable to make any exceptions, unless you have a valid reason (i.e., illness or death in the family 1st/2nd degree or partner). Please send an e-mail to indicating the reason
Start date and time
End date and time
Utrecht Science Park
Entrance fee
Free of charge for (co-)supervisors of the Graduate School of Life Sciences.

You can register via our course portal. The portal shows how many spots are still available.

More information
PhD Course Centre