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Marla Woolderink, Hannerieke van der Boom, Katarina Putnik, Gonnie Klabbers PhD Supervision Preliminary results of a study among CAPHRI PhD candidates.

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Presentation on theme: "Marla Woolderink, Hannerieke van der Boom, Katarina Putnik, Gonnie Klabbers PhD Supervision Preliminary results of a study among CAPHRI PhD candidates."— Presentation transcript:

1 Marla Woolderink, Hannerieke van der Boom, Katarina Putnik, Gonnie Klabbers PhD Supervision Preliminary results of a study among CAPHRI PhD candidates and supervisors

2 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Aims of the study − Assess the current CAPHRI Supervisor - PhD candidate relationship − Assess the needs and wants of both CAPHRI PhD supervisors and PhD candidates − Focus on positive qualifications of each others’ competencies and how to overcome difficulties − Booklet: Map results, best practices, empowerment of PhD candidates, recommendations for supervision

3 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Methods - Data gathering – Online and anonymous, through Surveymonkey 2 surveys: − PhD supervisors, open from: November, 15 th February, 6 th 2012 − PhD candidates, open from: October, 24 th February, 6 th 2012 − Both groups received an invitation and reminders (2 to supervisors, 3 to PhD candidates) − Questionnaire with primarily open questions

4 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Methods - Analyses – Coding the answers per group – Constructing mind maps – Identifying key concepts – Clustering key concepts in themes – Discussion of the concepts, overlap and differences between PhD candidates and supervisors results

5 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision SURVEY TOPICS PHD CANDIDATES What do PhD candidates value in and want from their daily supervisor? How can other supervisor(s) support? What do PhD candidates expect from supervisors? -needs and wants to be encouraged further – Difficulties? How to solve problems or difficulties?

6 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision N=54

7 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision N=54

8 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Results PhD candidates 1)What do PhD candidates value in and want from their daily supervisor? PhD candidates value in their supervisor: -Empathy -Motivation  Content wise & Process wise -Confirmation -Content expertise “I value that my supervisor is personally very engaged in my project. She motivates me and that gives me peace and rest in very busy periods.”

9 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Results PhD candidates 2) How can other supervisors support? PhD candidates want from their other supervisors: - Good relationship with supervisors - Involvement in the PhD track - Well-functioning relationship as a team - Most: Constructive feedback / confirmation “My supervisors are easily accessible and always friendly and supportive. They are encouraging me by giving compliments when a job is done properly.”

10 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Results PhD candidates 3) What do PhD candidates need / want more from supervisors to be encouraged? - Confidence - (Constructive) feedback - Appreciation - Responsiveness - Stimulation (content wise & process wise) - Involvement & interest in project “I want more involvement; I want to have the idea that he actually knows what I am doing and what we have discussed during previous meetings.”

11 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Results PhD candidates 4) Difficulties? Internal: - Too much workload - Too much pressure External: - No or not enough involvement from the supervisor(s) - No regular meetings, infrequent meetings - Negative feedback, no feedback, no timely feedback - Supervisors having opposes opinions or can not get along well “My supervisors have issues with each other.”

12 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Results PhD candidates 5)How do PhD candidates solve difficulties? - Work >40 hrs a week (structural) - Change attitude and expectations - Ignore it - Talk with peers - Talk with colleagues - Talk about issues with supervisor(s) - Try to develop a better relationship with supervisor(s) “We solved problems by talking, mostly by negotiations.”

13 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Recommendations Perspective of the PhD candidate: - Speak about mutual expectations early in the PhD track - Course for PhD supervisors - Performance criteria for supervisors = guidelines for supervision - Regular evaluation meetings with the PhD candidate

14 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision SURVEY TOPICS PHD SUPERVISORS What are necessary competencies & skills for a successful PhD track? What competencies & skills do you value in a PhD candidate? What skills are detrimental for a successful PhD track? Difficulties? Possible solutions?

15 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision N=52

16 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision N=52

17 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Results PhD supervisors 1)What competences do you have that are necessary / beneficial for a successful PhD trajectory? - in terms of publications / timely finishing - PhD supervisors mention three kinds of qualities: - Individual-related characteristics - Process-oriented skills - Content-related qualities “Empathy - working in a structured way - giving frequent feedback (in a constructive way) - frequent consultations (weekly) - enthusiasm – sufficient knowledge regarding the PhD topic.”

18 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Results PhD supervisors 2) What skills / competences do you value the most in your PhD candidate? -The ability to work in a team, while also being able to work independently and autonomously. Openness for feedback and criticism as well as self-reflection -Motivation, organisational and communication skills, such as eagerness (in general and to learn), dedication, hard work, overall planning and organisation of one’s work, pro-activity -Knowledge of the topic and broad research skills, such as abstract thinking, writing skills, research competence, creativity

19 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Results PhD supervisors 3) What skills / competences are detrimental ? -Being either too sloppy or too perfectionist, rigidity, inflexibility, difficulties in dealing with stress and frustration -Either too dependent or too autonomous, lack of (true) interest, no willingness to work after working hours, no ambition or dedication “Be too independent, do not ask for help timely; or the other way around, ask too much help.” -Lack of knowledge and skills, in e.g. English, statistics and research methods, analytical and networking skills

20 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Results PhD supervisors 4) Difficulties that supervisors experience Interpersonal problems: - Between PhD student and supervisor (loss of trust, not a good match) - A private situation might affect the PhD student’s work capacity - Among supervisors (steering in divergent directions, different views, no good relations within the team) Intrapersonal problems: - Insecure of their own position within the team - Struggling with lack of time or finances - Difficulties with being proactive or with long-distance supervision

21 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Results PhD supervisors 5) How to overcome difficulties? By dealing with content-related issues: -Advise PhD courses, offer contacts in one’s own network -Rewriting sections of articles or try out different writing methods -Structure the progress and provide timely guidance (planning of weekly meetings with agenda and minutes) -Follow a course for supervisors

22 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Results PhD supervisors How to overcome difficulties By focusing on process-related issues: -Facing the problems, responsiveness: having a good and honest talk, confronting them with their behavior or saying that they expected more from them -Ending the supervision process if it doesn‘t work out “By coaching, steering, giving guidance, providing additional schooling, giving the PhD students options to grow providing freedom without loosing the grip.” “Difficult whether you should become angry (risking demotivation), or remain friendly and motivating (and not a lot will change then).”

23 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Recommendations Perspective of the supervisor: − Talk to each other about mutual expectations − Talk about the relationship / interpersonal contact − Clarify who monitors timeline, deadlines, etc. − HR involvement in selection procedure? − Consider each PhD candidate as a single case with own needs, skills and expectations, invest in the relationship: Many successful PhD trajectories don’t guarantee that the next one will be successful too!

24 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision End products and spin off -Booklet on PhD supervision -Input for a course, intervision meetings, or other forms of mutual exchange for experienced supervisors -Collaboration with the ‘UM Staff Development Centre’ (Frans Willems), HR of the FHML, other UM Schools and Tessa van Mourik

25 CAPHRI Research Meeting 2012 – PhD representatives project on PhD supervision Thank you! - Thank you all for having taken time to fill out our online questionnaire and provide us with valuable input! -For questions / remarks or additional information about PhD supervision you can contact:


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