Professional in Supervision of PhD candidates

Course schedule

Dates Start time End time Location Coordinator registrations
Intake meetings: Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 September. Tuesday 3, Tuesday 17 October and Friday 3 November 2023 09:00 17:00 Wageningen Campus Jacqueline Verhoef 12 / 12 Registration ended at 08/09/2023
Intake meetings: Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 October. Workshop: Wednesday 8, 22 November and 6 December 2023 09:00 17:00 Wageningen Campus Jacqueline Verhoef 25 / 12 Registration ended at 14/09/2023
Pre-registration Spring 2024
You can already pre-register for the Spring editions 2024 (fees can be updated for next year).
09:00 17:00 Wageningen Campus Jacqueline Verhoef 36 / 40 Apply

Course description

This 3-day workshop is based on 4 phases during the 4 year programme and focusses on communications styles, coaching formats, leadership, cultural issues, distance based supervision, writing moments and personal needs related to supervision of PhD candidates. Much emphasis is placed on sharing knowledge and experiences, trying out new techniques and strategies, practicing with an actor and discussing other related issues to supervision. Another key element of these workshops is the peer coaching meeting between day 2 and day 3 where the participants handle several real life practical cases.

New to the workshop is that more emphasis is put on the supervision of the writing process and the specific role the supervisor plays.

Note that this training is credited in Tenure Track. 


WGS organizes this workshop because:

  • Supervision is a crucial factor in the success and duration of a PhD project.
  • The PhD duration needs to be brought back to 4 years while keeping the quality at a high level and as such the urge for good supervision has increased.
  • Supervisors themselves indicate a need in support to improve / strengthen their supervision skills given the developments within the scientific arena.

Specific goals of the workshop:

  • After the Personal Intake (see programme below for specifics) the supervisor will be able to formulate his/her personal goals of learning and development
  • Supervisors will share knowhow and experiences with colleagues and learn from these experiences
  • Supervisors are aware of their own style of supervision, the strengths and possible pitfalls and how to deal with them
  • Supervisors will make optimal use of their own capacities and those of others
  • Supervisors will be able to apply various communication techniques
  • Supervisors will practise the essential components of writing and coaching on this matter
  • Supervisors will recognize different “types of PhD candidates” and subsequently learn how to apply various coaching styles
  • Supervisors will learn their role and responsibility with regard to the research project (planning, focus and monitoring)


General Information 

Target Group: Staff members (Full, Associate and Assistant Professors) of Wageningen UR who are member of one of the Wageningen Graduate Schools and who are supervising PhD candidates. Participants should have at least half a year experience in supervising PhDs
Group size: Min. 10 and max. 12 participants
Course duration: 3 days. About 3 weeks before the workshop starts you will have a personal intake (1 hour). 2 weeks before the workshop we ask you to fill in personality style inquiries (via email) 
Language: English or Dutch (depending on the nationality of the participants)
Consultants: Barend van den Broek, MSc (Valley Consult), Dr Claudius van de Vijver (Graduate School PE&RC) and Dr Griet Coupé (Wageningen in’to Languages). The consultants have an academic training and years of experience in research, education, international management and coaching. They are already involved in educational and coaching activities at Wageningen UR and other universities
Venue: Wageningen Campus

Certificate: participants will receive an authentic certificate after completing the workshops.


The content of the 3-day course basically follows the entire PhD process from selection to graduation (focus lies on the different roles and expectations which PhD candidates and their supervisors go through during the 4 year programme).
The participants will be introduced to 4 phases and 4 ribbons.

4 Phases

The course is build up in 4 consecutive phases:

  1. Selection the PhD candidate (before the WUR gate)
  2. Road to Project Proposal and Go / No Go decision
  3. On-going business (incl. annual evaluation)
  4. Last legs of road to finalize the PhD

4 Ribbons

These are important items that continuously play a vital role during the entire PhD supervision. These ribbons are intertwined in the course as:

  1. Effective Interaction (communication)
  2. Role and expectations of PhD and SV during supervision process towards independence
  3. Culture, Character, Competences during the 4 phases
  4. Writing moments, styles and moments


The Programme consists of three parts:

PART 1: Personal Meeting
Before the workshop starts each participant will have a personal meeting with the consultants. The personal meeting will serve as an input for a tailor made workshop closely related to the individual needs of the participants. Furthermore, we expect from each participant to formulate his/her personal goals to be achieved.

PART 2: Day 1 & 2 of the supervisory workshops
The exact programme of the workshops will be based on the outcome of the Personal Intakes. The focus of the supervisory workshops will be on two different levels: (A) awareness & recognition and (B) training and sharing skills.
Please note: on the evening of day 1 a team play is organised. Before the workshop starts, participants will fill out a team role test which is crucial for the team play. In the afternoon of day 2 the training actor will be present.

Between day 2 and day 3: 2 groups will be formed to practice one peer coaching session to share experience, practice a real life case and reflect on professional behaviour.

PART 3: Day 3 of supervisory workshops
Four weeks after day 2, the third day is organised where the toolbox of the supervisors will become more taylor-made. Participants will reflect on what they have learned during day 1 and day 2, and on what they have experienced/practised during the peer coaching meeting and the personal action plan. Much emphasis will be placed on various coaching styles and cultural issues. Participants can practise and develop their own style in role plays. In the afternoon of day 3 the training actor will be present.


Reduced fee: Supervisors who are member of a Wageningen Graduate School (EPS, PE&RC, VLAG, WASS, WIAS, WIMEK) and are supervisor of PhD candidates who will be defending their thesis at Wageningen University € 675,-
University fee: All other Wageningen University postdocs and staff € 1.525,-
Extended fee: All other participants € 2.525,-
Fee includes study and training material (folder (reader); team role test; literature (mailings), use of videos), coffee/tea, refreshments and lunches.

Cancellation condition

You may cancel free of charge up to four weeks before the start of the course. After this date you will be charged the University fee. Unless:

  • You can find someone to replace you in the course and supply the course coordinator with the name and contact information of your replacement.
    In this case you will only be charged a € 50,- cancellation fee.
  • For staff of Wageningen University: when you have a valid reason to cancel (illness or death in the family 1st or 2nd degree).
    In this case you will be charged the reduced fee and your supervisor/superior must send a mail indicating the reason for cancellation.


For more information please contact / Tel: 0317-485116