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

Supervisor Training for Experienced Supervisors


Experienced supervisors are looking back to a longer personal and institutional history of supervising doctoral candidates. This history is characterised by many successful supervisions and completions of PhD trajectories but may be also by experiences with some difficult and problematic situations and cases. These experienced supervisors have acquired their supervisory expertise and skills mainly by themselves, by training on the job, by gathering continuously more and more expertise. They had in most cases – especially in Continental Europe – no opportunity to join an initial supervisor training or to enhance their individual supervisory competences by a systematic exchange of experiences with colleagues.

Reviewing this personal and institutional history and background the interests of experienced supervisors in supervisors training are specially shaped in a way that

  • they may be eager to get to know the new approaches and training concepts for initial supervisor training – which does not necessarily mean that they also want to participate in a two days initial supervisor workshop.
  •  some want to participate in an initial workshop in order to have joint training experience together with younger colleagues, in order to get to know how concepts for professional doctoral supervision are designed and taught, and in order to compare their supervisory practices and expertise with the knowledge and awareness on an international level of the state of the art.
  •  some do not want to participate in a comprehensive initial workshop but they would like to get offers for short workshops (half to one day) on specific topics and modules of research supervision.
  • many may be very interested in peer supervision, for group coaching settings in which they can discuss and review jointly their supervisory cases and experiences.
  • some are also interested in an individual occupational coaching by a professional coach.
  • some are interested in actions and measures for building a community of supervisors who will meet regularly for instance in supervisory lunch time events, in lectures and meetings with experienced supervisors from other national or international universities.

Trainings and meetings for experienced supervisors:

  • the option to participate in the initial supervisors training workshop on ‘Professionalization of PhD Supervision’
  • the option to participate in the ‘Follow-Up Workshop on 'Professionalization of PhD Supervision’
  • half or one day workshops on specific topics in doctoral supervision, for instance on
    -  Review of the Core Topics of Doctoral Supervision
    -  International Approaches and Developments in Doctoral Supervision
    -  Supervising International Doctoral Candidates
    -  Motivating Candidates
    -  Team Supervision
    -  Intervision
    –  Peer Group Coaching for Experienced Supervisors
    -  Time and Self-Management for Supervisors
  • supervision talks – 2 to 3 hours expert meetings on urgent topics or international best practice examples