Programme description

The course will provide knowledge and skills that qualify participants to supervise PhD-students at the University of Stavanger, and offers experienced supervisors tools and inspiration to improve in their task and extending their portfolio of supervising approaches.

Course structure

The course consists of three modules, each with two full-day sessions held in Stavanger or nearby. The sessions run from 09.00 to 16.00. The course modules are all placed within one semester. The course is open for employees from all faculties at the UiS.


The course is offered once or twice a year. The course details will be published on the university intra-net (, and by e-mail to the departments and faculties. The announcements will outline application procedures in detail.

Target group
Academic staff at the UiS.

Applicants must have a doctoral degree or an equivalent qualification. The applicant will benefit more from the course if they already are doing some PhD supervision (or have done some). 


Workload and participation
The course implies a high degree of activity from the participants, and when applying for the course, participants must confirm that they will be present at all sessions. The three modules and the assignments before and between the modules is estimated to a workload of approximately 100-110 hours.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of the course, the participant should have knowledge of:

·         Research education in national and international contexts
·         Regulations and ethics relevant for research and supervision
·         Different supervision approaches
Relationship building and communication in supervision

The participant should be able to: 

·         Plan and carry out individualized supervision 
·         Facilitate a working relationship when supervising in pairs
·         Elaborate on the role and responsibilities of a supervisor and how these change during the course of a PhD-project
Work within a scholarly framework to propose approaches to manage commonly occurring conflicts in connection with research education.

The participant should gain a general competence to:

·         Identify challenges and reflect upon the role as a supervisor
·         Place themselves as research supervisors in a local, historical and international context
Discuss commonly occurring ethical and legal issues associated with doctoral supervision

Teaching and learning methods
Teaching and learning methods will include lectures, casework, group work and individual assignments. Active participation is expected. The course content follows two interrelated workflows, where each day is divided between an overall topic and its corresponding theme related to the different phases in the process from starting to finishing a PhD-project. See below for more details on this.

Academic content
Module 1) To be a supervisor
                a) Research training in national and international context

                b) Approaches to supervision and the supervisor’s role

                c) Regulations and guidelines for research ethics

                 PhD-process     I: Recruitment and selection
                                            II: Role clarification

Module 2) Communication and collaboration
                a) A professional relationship

                b) Challenges: Motivation, abilities and opportunities during the process

                c) Handling cultural diversities

                d) Conflict management

PhD-process      III: Building and maintaining relationships
                            IV: Monitoring and mentoring progress

3) Supervision and the PhD as part of the organizational framework:
                a) Supervising the writing process

                b) Formal, informal and non-formal organizing elements of the PhD and their influence on doctoral supervision

                c) Learning contexts in doctoral education

PhD-process      V: Developing texts and thesis
                           VI: Performing revisions and dissemination

Requirement for course approval
·         Participation on all three modules. Lost modules can not be re-taken at a later stage, as the entire course must be completed within one semester 
·         Completing the preparations and assignments between the sessions

Course certificate
The course certificate is awarded after satisfactory completing all three modules and the requirements for the assignments. After completing the course the participants are qualified to supervise PhD candidates in compliance with §7-1 in “Forskrift for graden philosophia doctor ved Universitetet i Stavanger”.

Course fee
The deparment wil have to cover the cost of NOK 20.000,- for each participant.

For questions, please contact the course administrator.