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


Online Workshop Professionalization of PhD Supervision


The workshop comprises comprehensive workshop materials, a pre-questionnaire, a few preparatory homework done by the participants, and will be provided online during 3 days, 5 hours per day - best on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


Target Group

Professors (junior, associate and full), advanced postdoctoral researchers who are already co-supervising or are eager to become supervisors soon, research group leaders.



The workshop provides professional knowledge and practices about crucial issues of doctoral supervision within 6 integrated modules:

> Understanding and working with the 'Supervisory Biography', a tool that provides
   detailed overview and innovative skills on all phases, tasks and challenges of the
   PhD trajectory.

> Understanding the high importance of clarifying mutual expectations of doctoral
   candidates and supervisors, of supervisory roles and relations as well as of the skills
   needed to establish a trustful and successful supervisory relationship.

> Concepts and techniques for recruiting and selecting motivated and well educated
   doctoral candidates in order to avoid dropout or frustration in the PhD trajectory both
   for the doctoral candidates as well as for the supervisors.

> Defensive routines and productive learning in doctoral supervision, an approach for
   identifying and overcoming defensive patterns of behaviour and thought of doctoral
   candidates as well as 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

> Introduction into supervisory 'INTERVISION', a group coaching technique in
   order to jointly discuss supervision cases and to exchange experiences with peers. 



The aim of the workshop is to bring the participants in a short time on the advanced international level of the experiences, practices and skills in professional supervisor development. This of course comes along with the overall objective to improve the quality of doctoral education, to aviod false selection and dropout, and to establish a high productive and satisfying supervisory relationship both for the doctoral candidate as well as for the supervisor. The workshop protects especially the young supervisors against notions and practices from the past like 'learning by doing', and provides common mistakes at the beginning, creates quality time for good supervisory practice and prepares the ground for establishing peer communities of best professional practive in doctoral supervision.



Comprehensive workshop materials, a few preparatory homework, introductory module presentations, discussion, group exercises, analysing supervisory cases, Intervision, exchange of experiences, individual feedback and coaching.



An Integrated Approach of Extraordinary Awareness and Skills    


3 Modules How to Establish Innovative Good Practice


Supervisory Biography

The Roadmap to Success

Comprehensive Overview on Core Tasks and Challenges

Supervisory Roles, Expectations, Relations,

Styles and Conflicts



Selection and Recruitment





3 Modules on How to Act If the Good Practices Are Not Yet Given

The System of Weaknesses and the Pathways to Analysis and Improvement 


Defensive Routines and Productive Learning




The Supervisory Inquiry

Warning Signs, Analysis of Reasons and the Search for Suitable Remedies



Structured Peer Counselling for Analysing and Solving Problematic Cases





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