Successful PhD Supervision: A Two-Way Process

  • Gitte Wichmann-Hansen
  • Lise Wogensen Bach
  • Berit Eika
  • Michael J. Mulvany
Part of the Mentoring in Academia and Industry book series (MAI, volume 10)


It is the aim of PhD programmes to ensure that their PhD students become skilled researchers. A key factor in a successful PhD programme is the supervision process. This process is a partnership between the supervisor and the PhD student, where both parts must play a positive role. The supervisor must give the necessary guidance, while the student must be able to take the initiative regarding the performance of the programme. Good communication between the supervisor and the student is necessary throughout, but especially at the start the expectations of both parts must be clarified and agreed. This paper seeks to describe some of the main elements of the supervision process. These include finding the right person, matching of expectations, project planning, meeting activities, optimising the research environment, and text production. The paper also describes some ways in which problems can be avoided and also, if they do arise, how these can be solved. In all cases, these questions are addressed both from the supervisor’s and the student’s point of view. The paper underlines that the supervision is a two-way process that continually needs to be nurtured.


Supervisor Relationship Supervision Process Supervision Meeting Good Supervision Academic Assistance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gitte Wichmann-Hansen
    • 1
  • Lise Wogensen Bach
    • 1
  • Berit Eika
    • 1
  • Michael J. Mulvany
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Health Sciences, Aarhus Graduate School of Health SciencesAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

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