Supervising Student Research more effectively

Supervising theses can be fun and inspiring, but also difficult and time-consuming. In this training we look at how you can optimise your approach so that the guidance is more effective and takes less time. You will work with questions like: what do I actually do when and how? What are more effective ways of organising guidance, giving feedback and having conversations? Which strategies can I provide the students with so that they can better detect and solve (textual) problems themselves? Maybe you can leave even more to the student, give feedback in a better dosage or in a different way or discuss important matters more explicitly and earlier with the student.

Start date(s): 
31 January 2023
Rest of the course dates: 14 February, 28 February, 14 March
Time investment: 
4 meetings of 3 hours and self-study
Onderwijsadvies & Training
€1085,- Literature included (UU-employees can use O&T units - if available and in consultation with your faculty)
Extra information: 

This course will be taught in English (unless all participants speak Dutch). A customized course is possible.

What will we be doing?

We work with real life situations as much as possible and will pay attention to the different roles of a thesis supervisor and ways to keep a grip on them. We will practice conducting supervision meetings to identify pitfalls and tips. We will also discuss the analysis of thesis problems: What exactly is the problem and what could have caused it? Such an analysis is important for efficient feedback: feedback that is tailored to the cause of the problem and that helps to activate the student to detect and solve the problems themselves.


In this course we will focus on two perspectives: the perspective of the supervisor and that of the student.

Supervisor's perspective

It is essential for the supervisor to have an overview of the three main supervisor issues: those of role mastery, repertoire, and efficiency. A good supervisor switches consciously and smoothly between the roles of supervisor, assessor, and educator. Thesis supervision should also be done efficiently: there is a plan behind it based on a clear picture of what should be achieved when and who is responsible for what.

Student's perspective

A supervisor must also be well versed in the steps the student has to take, the associated intermediate products, and the criteria they must meet. It is also better if the supervisor is aware of the knowledge and the skills the student has already mastered and those in which the student still needs to develop. The supervisor is aware of the notorious pitfalls for the student and has a vision of the role the supervisor can play in this regard. In addition, it is good to have an idea of the student's supervision wishes and needs. The supervisor is also aware of the effects of their own behaviour on the student's attitude and behaviour.


    The main literature used in the course:

    • Kearns, H. & Finn, J. (2017). Supervising PhD Students. A practical guide and toolkit. Adelaide: ThinkWell.
    • Heinze Oost (2004). Een onderzoek begeleiden. Baarn: HB Uitgevers.
    • Joy de Jong & Jacqueline van Kruiningen (2022). Geef ze het nakijken. Over activerende feedback en schrijfbegeleiding in het hoger onderwijs. Amsterdam: Boom.


    A certificate is awarded upon successful completion with active participation: all assignments are finished and all meetings attended.


    The course consists of four meetings:

    • Tuesday 31 January, 13.30 – 16.30 hours
    • Tuesday 14 February, 13.30 – 16.30 hours
    • Tuesday 28 February, 13.30 – 16.30 hours
    • Tuesday 14 March, 13.30 – 16.30 hours

    Note: PhD candidates and other teachers of the UU faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences should contact Lucette Teurlings (HR, FSW) before application.


    The course will be taught by Dr. Joy de Jong. She conducted research on the interaction between thesis writers and supervisors and is an expert on the tutoring and teaching (didactics) of academic writing.


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