International good practice in doctoral supervision


A virtual workshop run by Vitae on behalf of Euraxess, with the cooperation of RANNÍS and the University of Iceland Graduate School, will be held the 21st of June at 09:00-12:00 GMT.

Globally the model of a doctorate has moved away from the long, slow, isolated apprenticeship model of preparing students for a career in academia, towards a more cohort-based professional development model that recognises the wider needs of both society and individual researchers. This places a different set of expectations on supervisors, which this session aims to address.

The core learning objective of this workshop is to understand the components of good practice in doctoral research supervision in the context of globalised research cultures.

Using the twin pillars of ethical supervision and recognised indicators of research student satisfaction as a starting point, you will examine and evaluate your own understanding and supervisory practice through reflection, discussion, tasked examples and case study. Tools and techniques will also be presented to facilitate the development of secure foundations for supervisory relationships in order to manage the needs of doctoral researchers and prepare them for the next stage of their careers.


The workshop is open to academic staff and doctoral administrators working at the Icelandic universities that confer PhDs: the Agricultural University of Iceland, Reykjavík University, the University of Akureyri and the University of Iceland.

The workshop will take place on Zoom, with enrolment capped at twenty.


For additional information, please contact Sigrún Ólafsdóttir, Senior Adviser at RANNÍS (sigrun.olafsdottir(at)

Biographies of Workshop Leaders

Dr Cathy Gibbons (Trainer)

 With a PhD in Human Relations, Cathy Gibbons of Arc52 is a dedicated educationalist and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advance-HE). Cathy works independently with researchers and academics. She is especially skilled at working with mixed disciplinary groups, or cross-disciplinary themes such as communication, leadership, ethics, and supervision. She attributes this strength to her varied past and wide academic interests. She has worked on supervisor development initiatives in the UK, Iraq and China, and is a member of the International Doctoral Educators Research Network.

Rachel Thomas (Vitae host)

 Rachel is a member of Vitae's Learning & Development team, providing support to the various training programmes run by Vitae. Before joining Vitae, Rachel spent over fifteen years' in project support and management in the third sector, covering education, local councils and charities. She has worked on a variety of projects from redesigning and writing the flagship publication for a charity, to structuring the auditing process for modern apprenticeships in a large regional college. 


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