PD Dr. habil. Helmut Brentel Consulting & Training in Higher Education
PD Dr. habil. Helmut BrentelConsulting & Training in Higher Education

Supervisor Training



Initial Workshop on Supervisor Training


Professionalization of PhD Supervision





The objective of the workshop is to bring the participants within two days on the advanced level of the experiences and practices in the international development of professional doctoral supervision. This comes along with the overall aim to improve the quality of doctoral education, to avoid false selection and dropout, and to establish a highly productive and satisfying supervisory relationship both for the doctoral candidates as well as for the supervisors. The workshop is aiming mainly on younger supervisors who are just starting or who have just started with research supervision tasks. So junior professors or associate professors newly appointed in their first employment are the main target group but also experienced post docs eager to become scholars and supervisors soon. But more experienced supervisors who are interested in the international state of the art of professionalizing PhD supervision are also very much welcome.




The workshop provides professional knowledge and practices about the crucial issues of doctoral supervision by 7 integrated training modules:

  • Internationalization and professionalization
  • Understanding and working with the 'Supervisory Biography' which gives detailed overview and advice for all phases, tasks and challenges of the PhD trajectory
  • Understanding the very high importance of clarifying mutual expectations of doctoral candidates and supervisors, of the changing roles of supervisors as well as of the skills needed to establish and to maintain a successful supervisory relationship
  • Concepts and techniques for selecting motivated and well qualified doctoral candidates in order to avoid dropout or frustration in the PhD trajectory both for the doctoral candidates as well as for the supervisors
  • Identifying and understanding early warning signs of problems and conflicts as well as techniques and skills in order to jointly analyse the cases and to provide possible solutions
  • International state of the literature and working systematically with a toolkit
  • Introduction into supervisory 'Intervision', a group coaching technique in order to jointly discuss supervision cases and to systematically exchange experiences with your peer



  • Input of the trainer, presentation about the thematic emphases - "food for thought"
  • Giving space for intensive discussion and exchange of experience - also beyond departmental boundaries
  • Elaborating your own results and solutions during the interactive exercises inthe  working groups
  • Individual feedback on specific needs and problems of participants