The network group can be seen as a practice community where we engage in research, teaching and development of PhD supervision across faculties and universities in Denmark. Our focus is especially on exchange of experiences with planning, completing and evaluating courses and other development activities for PhD supervisors.
For the moment, the group’s core activities are exchanging experiences and sharing teaching materials. Many of us are working alone with these topics in our institutions and it is very rewarding to have a platform where we can share experiences and knowledge and inspire each other. We meet twice a year. Fixed items on the agenda are “news from our own institution” and “news about research, conferences, literature etc.”. In addition, we spend most of the time at these meetings sharing concrete experiences with running supervision courses for PhD supervisors (or PhD students). We address different themes such as how we teach text feedback, roles and relationships in PhD supervision, matching expectations, supervision of international students, integration into the research environment, etc. We also debate and give feedback on each other’s research projects about PhD supervision when it is relevant but mostly, it is a forum for exchanging principals, methods, strategies, and materials within the field of competence development of PhD supervision.
In the autumn of 2012, the network was granted funds (350,000 DKK) from SCK – Statens Center for Kompetenceudvikling (The Agency for Competence Development in the State Sector) – to a project with the title "Nyudvikling af seminarer for meget erfarne ph.d. vejledere" (“New-development of seminars for very experienced PhD supervisors”). Based on the funding we developed an advanced competency development offer for experienced PhD supervisors from all of the universities of Denmark. It has now been running four times in, respectively, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The course is offered by DUN while NUP functions as a reference group for the teachers that are responsible for the development and completion of the course.
On the DUN Conference 2016, the network held a symposium with the title Kompetenceudvikling af ph.d.-vejledere i Danmark - status, initiativer og udfordringer (Competency development of PhD supervisors in Denmark – status, initiatives and challenges). After the conference, the symposium was turned into an article (in Danish) that was published in DUT in the spring of 2017.