Norwegian version

Fundamentals of PhD Supervision

Further education

This course aims to help participants develop their understanding of the role and responsibilities of PhD supervision.

  • About the course

    This course is designed for PhD-level supervisors.

    The course evolves around questions of what the process of PhD-supervision entails. This includes discussing several challenges and ethical questions that arise in the relationship between supervisor and candidate. 

    The course program is based on:

    • Preparatory work from participants
    • Active participation in class
    • Participants sharing and discussing their experience

    Doctoral degree programmes at OsloMet are organised differently, and dissertation requirements vary. This affects both what it means to be a supervisor and a candidate, and the relationship between these two roles. 

    At the same time, different PhD supervisors have common challenges that arise from the process of supervision. 

    The purpose of this course is to highlight the experience and challenges of PhD supervisors and encourage participants to reflect on and develop their practice in ways that increase the utility of the supervision process for both candidates and supervisors.

    Key topics:

    • Challenges in supervision practice
    • Responsibility and involvement: The role of supervisor and candidate
    • Analysing supervision
    • Planning, implementing, progressing
    • Co-authorship and the Vancouver rules

    Eligible participants

    This course is designed for active PhD supervisors. The course is structured around participants own experience, and it is therefore required that you have started your own PhD supervision.

    If the number of applicants exceed our enrolment capacity, five participants from each faculty are granted admission.


    The course is free of charge. 

    Registered participants who do not show up or fail to cancel before the specified adjustment deadline will be invoiced for their hotel accommodation costs.

    Course certificate

    All participants will receive a course diploma upon the successful completion of this course.

  • Autumn 2024

    Do you want to be notified when admission opens? 

    Submit your e-mail address in our online form (

  • Mandatory assignments

    In preparation for the course, you are expected to submit the following:

    1. A description of a challenging situation

    Write a short text, approximately 1000 words, and describe a situation where supervising your student was challenging in some way.

    The paper should be written as a story where you explain to the reader what happened, and exemplify common challenges you have faced in your role as supervisor.

    Print 7 copies of the story, and bring it to the course.

    2. Example of supervision

    You are expected to bring some kind of example of your supervisory work.

    This could be in the form of written feedback you have actually given to a student, or a brief description of how you conduct yourself in person. Feel free to choose something which will be interesting to analyse in class.

    Bring two printed copies. Long documents should be shortened. 

    3. Interview a colleague 

    Conduct a short interview with a colleague who has recently completed the process of supervision, right up to the candidate’s dissertation defence. 

    In the interview, ask about the entire supervision process: the work and development of the PhD candidate, the supervisors role in different phases, the special challenges that arose and how they were handled.

    Make a very short, point-by point note, and bring it to the class.

  • Recommended literature

    • Bastalich, W. (2017). Content and context in knowledge production: a critical review of doctoral supervision literature. Studies in Higher Education, 42(7), 1145-1157.
    • Dysthe, O. & Samara, A. (Red.). (2006). Forskningsveiledning på master - og doktorgradsnivå. Abstrakt forlag.
    • Fekjær, S.B. (2017). Ph.d. – en veiviser. Gyldendal akademisk.
    • Krumsvik, R. (2022). Academic writing in scientific journals versus doctoral theses. Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 17(2), 78-94.
    • Lee, A. (2020). Successful Research Supervision: Advising students doing research. Routledge.
    • Nicol, D. (2021) The power of internal feedback: exploiting natural comparison processes, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 46:5, 756-778, Full article: The power of internal feedback: exploiting natural comparison processes
    • Shute, V. J. (2008). Focus on formative feedback. Review of educational research, 78(1), 153-189.
  • Guidelines

Do you have questions about this course?

The PhD supervision competence course is administered by the Centre for the Study of Professions.

Please contact the centre administration if you have questions about the course.

Course coordinator

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