LERU’s view on holistic doctoral supervision

Supervision of doctoral researchers is a central aspect of doctoral education, which is a core activity of universities, especially research-intensive ones. Doctoral researchers are key to advancing research within universities, and the global recognition of the doctoral degree reflects the unique and vitally important role of universities in society.

I Stock 1248187849

With this paper, LERU member institutions propose a holistic view of supervision aimed at supporting doctoral researchers in becoming future leaders in all sectors of societal relevance, in academia and beyond. Such a holistic approach includes more clearly stating the expectations for supervisors, offering them support in acquiring the necessary skill sets, and rewarding this important assignment with more recognition and visibility.

This paper addresses what institutions can do to foster a culture of appreciation for mutually productive supervision by focusing on institutional culture, training opportunities, elements of good practice in supervision, principles of evaluation, and structural settings. The aim is to inspire other higher education institutions with good examples of doctoral supervision in the LERU community and to lay out basic principles regarding impactful supervision endorsed by LERU institutions.

The final result for productive and impactful supervision is the success of the doctoral researchers with regard not only to their first career steps after the PhD, but also with respect to their longer term career progression and their impact in a multitude of meaningful and ambitious positions as leaders in society, in the private as well as public sector, in academia and beyond.

Read the interview with the main authors.

Year of publication:
Feb 2023
Type of paper:
Advice paper
  • Helke Hillebrand (Heidelberg University)
  • Claudine Leysinger (University of Zurich)