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Supervising research students VT23 is a Course

Supervising research students VT23

Feb 8, 2023 - Apr 19, 2023
3 credits

Spots remaining: 4


Full course description

8, 22 February; 8, 22 March; 5 April (13-16) [Schedule in TimeEdit]

This course is not part of the Diploma of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, but fulfils another requirement when it comes to pedagogical qualifications in promotion and employment. For practical reasons it is here listed together with the Diploma courses. 


Course syllabus for CLS905 - Supervising research students


Syllabus adopted 2022-03-03 by Jens Kabo, Diploma coordinator, EER, CLS


3 Credits

Grading: Satisfactory/not satisfactory

Education cycle: second-cycle

Department: 62 – Communication and learning in science


Teaching language




Christian Stöhr



Bachelor´s degree, 180 higher education credits or equivalent + B2 CEFR in English (


Our main target group is lecturers at Chalmers. The course is not open to doctoral students. The course is free to Chalmers employees. Lecturers outside Chalmers are welcome to apply but their institution must meet the course fees. These are SEK 1,500 per higher education credit point. Enrolment for external participants and guest researchers opens six weeks after enrolment opens for Chalmers employees.


Course specific prerequisites

There are no formal prerequisites, but it is strongly recommended that you have prior experience of supervising doctoral or master students. Also, if you are working toward the Diploma in Teaching and Learning of Higher Education then it is recommended that you complete:


      University Teaching and Learning, 3hec, CLS926 (alternatively GFOK020 Teaching, Learning and Evaluation, 3hec)

      Diversity and Inclusion for Learning in Higher Education, 2hec, CLS930 or equivalent courses prior to the course.



The course aims to help participants to:


      develop and reflect upon their (new) role as supervisor for research students,

      gain basic knowledge about the goals and regulations for doctoral studies at Chalmers, and

      gain a better understanding of the principles and practices of good supervision during the different phases of the research study process.


Intended Learning Outcomes

After completion of the course the participant will be better able to:


1.              Specify implications of Chalmers’ regulations and goals on the participants’ own supervisory practice

2.              Use conceptual models and a range of techniques to adapt the participants’ supervision to the needs of the doctoral student during different phases of the research study process

3.              Articulate how their supervision practices are enhanced in terms of effective writing pedagogy and strategies for effective publication processes 

4.              Demonstrate an individual and inclusive approach to supervision based on literature in the area

5.              Engage in discussions about research education at the participant's institution and faculty while drawing on theoretical justifications and reasoning

6.              Develop and apply a plan to critically reflect and continuously develop their supervision practice



The course addresses the supervision of the doctoral student’s research, study and learning process and displays the close link between supervision and the pedagogy of teaching and learning. The course clarifies how the supervisor may meet the PhD student as an individual with an inclusive approach and, together with the PhD student, build a relationship based on mutual understanding of postgraduate education in general and the current research project in particular. Among other things, the course addresses the following topics:


      Qualities of good supervision and supervisors

      Theory and research on PhD supervision

      Goals, frameworks and regulations for research studies at Chalmers

      Establishing a good supervisor-PhD student relation

      Pedagogical approaches to supervision

      Adapting to individual needs of the PhD student

      Integrity and ethics guidelines for research and research dissemination

      The Individual Study Plan and how to use it to foster a good continuous dialogue and documentation during the student’s doctoral studies

      Developing as supervisor through critical reflection and sharing of experiences in agreement with the concept scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) adopted at Chalmers


During the course, there will be plenty of opportunity for discussion and reflection about how to start up and follow the doctoral supervision process in different phases. Note, that the course puts less focus on the PhD student recruitment process and the disputation itself, but points at further Chalmers courses which address those topics in more depth.



The course will be mainly taught on campus, based on five seminars of 3 hours with individual and group assignments to be done in and between seminars. Depending on circumstances, one or several of the seminars can be conducted online:


Course hours:

Seminars:                    15hrs

Assignments:              35hrs

Reading:                      30hrs


The course is designed for new supervisors for doctoral studies that are aiming for a promotion to docent. The course is an elective course, although mandatory for docent level. The course may not be included within the Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (15 credits).



The good supervisor - The Good Supervisor: Supervising Postgraduate and Undergraduate Research for Doctoral Theses and Dissertations by Gina Wisker, Palgrave Macmillan 2012, is the main resource used in the course. Available as Ebook through Chalmers library.



Participants are expected to complete and submit the following assignments:


      Attendance and preparatory assignments for the synchronous sessions in Zoom including but not limited to: 1) Self-assessment: good supervisory practice. 2) Two interviews; one with an experienced supervisor within your own field, one with an experienced supervisor in another field

      A reflective essay on you as a supervisor

      Two peer reviews of other participants’ reflective essays


Sign up for this course today!