Training Doctoral Supervisors (D/E)

Amount of working units: 8 AE
Max. Number of participants: 12


  • FR, 20th of March 2020, 9AM - 5PM

Registration is only possible on waiting list!

Waldweg 26, 37073 Göttingen, Trakt 1, 3rd floor, room 3119

course language: English

The success of doctoral research hinges not only on the ability and motivation of doctoral candidates. Good supervision by the main supervisor(s) can be considered equally important with respect to the success or failure of a dissertation.
However: What constitutes good supervision? Which criteria define a successful performance of doctoral supervisors? How is a trustful and reliable relationship between supervisors and doctoral candidates formed and maintained? Are there crucial steps that supervisors need to pay attention to while supervising a doctoral candidate? Which criteria can be applied when supervisors are faced with a decision to take on or refuse a(nother) doctoral candidate? These are only a few of the questions that researchers need to tackle when leading early career researchers as doctoral supervisors.
This workshop is designed to open up a space for the critical reflection of the supervisory role. We will introduce and develop a set of tools that might prove helpful for supervisors to master the complexity and the challenges involved in their performance. There will be room for peer-to-peer coaching and interaction to enable participants to talk about their supervision experience, about examples of good supervision practice, as well as about apprehensions and difficulties that might have emerged in their personal track record as supervisors. The workshop aims at providing researchers with the tools, skills and the mindset to tackle challenges of good supervision more efficiently and professionally.
Workshop contents cover:

  • Developments in PhD Supervision
  • Challenges and Tools in PhD Supervision
  • The Roles of Supervisors
  • Legal Issues in PhD Supervision
  • Identifying and Solving Problems in PhD Supervision

The workshop aims to ensure and improve the quality of existing and future supervisory relationships and practices. The following goals should be achieved:

  • In the sense of a peer-to-peer learning process, participants will reflect on the variety of existing supervisory practices as well as recurring challenges and come up with professional and helpful solutions to develop their own approach to PhD supervision.
  • Participants will sharpen their awareness of the significance of building and maintaining a transparent and reliable supervisory relationship with their PhD candidates.
  • Established tools for the successful supervision of doctoral candidates are introduced and can be adapted to the specific needs of participants in order to upgrade their supervisory performance.

Used methods:
Trainer input, individual and group work, discussion

Professional approaches to doctoral supervision; developing best supervisory practices; reflecting on one’s own supervisory role; learning about the context, legal issues and international developments in doctoral supervision

Dr. Sybille Küster is Managing Director of GRADE, the central unit to support doctoral candidates, postdocs and supervisors at Goethe University at Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She studied history, political science, and English literature at the universities of Hannover, Washington State (USA), and the University of Zimbabwe in Harare. After research stays in London (SOAS) and South Africa, she wrote her PhD on the history of colonial education systems in Southern Africa. She has extensive experience in scientific management and in the strategic support of early career researchers at international and national level.
Dr. Kai Sicks has been Director of the International Office at the University of Bonn since 2017. He has a background in German studies and political science, which he studied at the universities of Frankfurt am Main, Vienna and Cologne with research stays in Washington, D.C. and Cornell. From 2008-2013, he coordinated the European PhD Network “Literary and Cultural Studies” (Giessen, Bergamo, Helsinki, Lisbon, Stockholm), from 2013 to 2017 he acted as Managing Director of the Bonn Graduate Center, the central support unit for doctoral students at the University of Bonn.