Communication with your supervisor

Course schedule

Dates Start time End time Coordinator registrations
6 & 7 April 2020 09:30 17:00 Heleen Schoenmaker 1 / 7 Apply

Course description

PhD candidates often find themselves in situations where good communication skills are called for. The most important one, when communicating with their supervisor. Whether it is for example in deciding upon the right direction for the research, or negotiating on how many experiments to include, young scientists find it difficult to pursue their own ideas and maintain a good relationship with important others at the same time.

In this workshop, PhD candidates learn to take ownership of the cooperative relationship with their supervisor and to discuss their expectations with regard to supervision.

We discuss Dutch cultural characteristics (egalitarian, utilitarian, organized, authority, punctual) and ways of communicating (directly) including aspects of particular relevance to PhD candidates (taking responsibility and initiative).

PhD candidates are taught how to engage in constructive and open conversation. We encourage them to verbalize their problems and expectations and we practice that with them in role play. They learn how they can get to the point swiftly, propose solutions themselves, and also share their positive experiences with their supervisor.


General Information

Target group:

The course is set up for PhD candidates

Group size:

Option 1 (one trainer): Minimum of 6 and a maximum of 7 participants.

Course duration:

Two days. Being present at the two days is obligatory!



Credit points:

0.6 ECTS


Daniël Schut from Hertz -Training for Scientists


Wageningen University, Wageningen Campus, Droevendaalsesteeg, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Note: Room and building will be communicated with registered and confirmed participants about one week before the start of the course.


This is an intensive two-day course; participants learn by carrying out brief assignments in small groups and receiving personal feedback from them. At the same time, they are given viable means of being able to apply what they have learnt in practice.

Day 1: Communication & Negotiating, Negotiating & Conflict Solving
Day 2: Decision-making, Appraisal Interviews

Content and focus on

  • Cultural differences in communication
  • Recognising your own strengths and styles of communication
  • Learning other communication styles
  • Learning strategies in negotiating
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Solving conflicts
  • Working with tools for better decision making and negotiating
  • Communicating about the preferred interaction in the context of an appraisal interview


Reduced fee:
• PhD candidates of Wageningen University with an approved Training and Supervision Plan (TSP)
• Postdocs of Wageningen University who are registered at one of the graduate schools in Wageningen


University fee:
• All other PhD candidates & postdocs
• Staf of Wageningen University postdocs


All other participants


Fee includes study and training material, coffee/tea 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.
  • You (PhDs and postdocs of Wageningen University) 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/PI must send a mail indicating the reason for cancellation.


For more information please contact, tel: +31 (0)317 483276.