Supervisor workshop for aspiring supervisors

This course aims to prepare young researchers to be supervisors either at an early supervisor stage or before entering the role, and is tailored for young researchers in biotechnology and neuroscience.

Registration is closed.

Due to the current covid-19 situation, the event will be held online.

This three-day intensive course aims to prepare young researchers to be supervisors either at an early supervisor stage or before entering the role. It is tailored for young researchers in biotechnology and neuroscience and will consist of lectures, group work and discussions. The course is organized by the Digital Life Norway Research School and the Norwegian Research School in Neuroscience. 

Tentative program

28 April

12:30 - 13:30   Welcome and reflection on experiences from good practice.

Who is your role model as PhD supervisor? And how flexible is your own supervision style? How to balance personal and professional aspects of supervision in a friendly professional relationship?

13:30 - 13:45   Break

13:45 - 15:00   The supervisor role and relationship.

What are the different roles that supervisors assume during the PhD study? How can you balance support and independence? What about asymmetry and how do you navigate with regards to closeness and power?

15:00 - 15:15   Break

15:15 - 16:30   Professor Menno Witter and Bente Jacobsen (post doc): Their experiences of good practice and establishing a good working relationship.

29 April

09:00 - 10:15   Jan-Martin Berge: How to handle conflict.

10:30 - 12:00   Jan-Martin Berge: Get to know your own talents and pit falls (leadership).   

12:00 - 13:00   Lunch

13:00 - 14:15   Managing the project

In how much detail can you plan a PhD project when research is somehow unpredictable? How can you help yourself and others make more realistic plans?

14:15 - 14:30   Break

14:30 - 16:15   Active listening - the most important communication tool.

Introduction to the principles of active listening followed by an extensive exercise in small groups to train the method while also reflecting on concrete challenges in own supervision or the supervision of others.

30 April

09:00 - 10:15   Aligning expectations.

Introduction on how to align expectations. Presentation of a tool to support the discussion of expectations that are often implicit for both parts. And how to keep track of how the PhD student i doing by inviting for feedback from the PhD student continuously and meta-communicate about the supervision process. 

10:15 - 10:30   Break

10:30 - 12:00   How to give constructive feedback that promotes independence. 

Feedback exercise: Hands-on exercise to open discussions and reflection on how to give good feedback, and how this may help support autonomy of the PhD student.

12:00 - 13:00   Lunch

13:00 - 14:00   Team supervision and "orchestration" of the PhD project.

Discussion of the different roles you take in a team of supervisors, formal and informal power, using the power position in a constructive manner, and discussion of being in between both supervisee and supervisor. Presentation and group work based on your own experiences, and plenary dialogue.

14:00 - 14:15   Wrap up of the workshop.

Confirmed speakers

  • Main speaker Mirjam Godskesen, PhD has her expertise in PhD supervision, PhD coaching and academic writing processes.
  • Jan-Martin Berge (Psykolog Berge): He is a specialist in Clinical Psychology and Occupational Psychology and holds public lectures on topics like communication, work environment and satisfaction, work life balance and more. He won a price for best male speaker in 2019.
  • Menno Witter is head of the functional neuroanatomy research group at NTNU, and he is the director of the Norwegian Research School in Neuroscience.


Liv Eggset Falkenberg,

Ragnhild I. Vestrum,

Published Nov. 27, 2020 8:28 AM - Last modified Apr. 15, 2021 11:52 AM