PhD Symposium - Navigating your PhD study: turning over the leaf
April 18-19. Deadline for registration: March 28.
Sisse Finken, Associate professor, Head of PhD School, IT-University of Copenhagen
Liv Gish, PhD. Consultant & Coach, owner of Nordic Writing Academy.
Gitte Wichmann-Hansen, PhD. Owner of the consultancy Academic Supervision. Senior Researcher, DPU, Department of Education Studies, Aarhus University.
Dates of the course
April 18-19, 2023
Deadline of notification
Registration is closed. The PhD school supports sustainable thinking, so: please notify PhD Support within the final deadline of notification/cancellation on Tuesday, 28th March 2023. With such notification, the number of reservations equals participation, whereby we, hopefully, partake in minimizing waste of resources.
9:00 April 18th – 16:15 April 19th 2023
We meet at 8:45 in front of the ITU (by the main entrance). The bus leaves at 9AM sharp.
Skjoldenæsholm Hotel og Konferencecenter
The symposium is generic in topic. Beyond catering to PhD-students across departments and disciplines, it is also aimed at PhD-students in all stages of their studies, from newly enrolled to graduates.
This year the symposium centers on the developmental aspect of doing a PhD. With this, the purpose of the symposium is to advance PhD students’ skills to better navigate the PhD process. The symposium, hereby, brings awareness to how PhD students proactively can take charge of their study in terms of supervision (Workshop on day 1) and work habits and planning (Workshop on day 2). The symposium is hands-on based and includes lectures, exercises, and plenum discussions. The program is composed with the purpose for PhD-students to actively engage in their own and their peer’s practical experiences in relation to the theoretical parts of the symposium.
Upon completion, attending PhD students are invited to evaluate the symposium.
Having completed the full symposium successfully, PhD students will:
Be able to account for and use different techniques that can aid navigating the PhD study and its process.
Focus on the important PhD tasks, be aware of own work habits and preferences, and plan accordingly.
Day 1: Managing your supervisor
With the purpose of advancing skills of navigating the very PhD study, the first symposium day serves to train PhD-students’ skills managing the PhD process by way of learning tools that can aid the daily management and planning, e.g., by way of managing the supervisor(s). In line with this, and upon arrival where Sisse Finken shortly introduces the symposium, Gitte Wichmann-Hansen takes the lead of the day with ‘Managing your supervisor’. The day is composed of lectures and exercises relating to different aspects of PhD supervision, herein: roles and relations; the proactive process, and constructive feedback. The day ends with a Q & A session to allow you to reflect on and articulate the topics vis-à-vis your own PhD studies.
Day 2: Planning and good work habits
On the second symposium day, where Liv Gish takes the lead, we examine your ‘good’ and ‘bad’ work habits and how you can plan more realistically by focusing on the important research tasks and adjusting your work practice.
We start the day diving into both the challenges that prevent you from working efficiently and the productive strategies you already know and maybe even apply. After the first break we will investigate the concept of ‘deep work’ and the ability to focus on a difficult task for a longer time without getting distracted. After lunch you will be introduced to efficient planning and work strategies and try the ‘Game Plan tool’ that will help you plan your coming weeks realistically.
Day 1 – Tuesday 18th of April 2023:
09:00 Leaving the ITU by bus to Skjoldenæsholm Hotel and Conference Centre
10:15 Arrival and coffee.
10:30 Introduction to the two-day symposium (Sisse Finken)
Workshop I: Making supervision work for you (Gitte Wichmann-Hansen):
10:40 What is good supervision?
12:00 Check-in and lunch
13:00 How to make the best out of your supervisors
14:15 Coffee break
14:30 Are you aligned with your supervisors?
15:45 Q & A about supervision
16.15 Time to take a walk, check email, relax, and/or socializing
Socializing (If you want to organize an event for the evening, e.g., games or something, please then contact PhD support)
Day 2 – Wednesday 19th of April 2023:
09:15 Good morning and welcome back (Sisse Finken)
Workshop II: Planning and good work habits (Liv Gish):
09:30 Introduction and experiences with planning and work habits
10:30 Coffee break
10:45 Deep work: The importance giving focus to the right tasks
13:00 Short-term planning with the Game Plan tool
14:30 Coffee & tea
14:45 Bus travel to the ITU
16:00 Arriving at ITU and Goodbye
To attend, you must be a PhD student enrolled at the IT University.
2 pages reflection note on the topic of the symposium “Navigating your PhD study: turning over the leaf” with emphasis on aspects you find relevant for your work and how they are relevant. The reflection note will be evaluated and approved by Sisse Finken.
Exam submission date
Friday April 28th by noon (12 o’clock). Send your reflection notes by email to Sisse.
2 ECTS for full attendance
Amount of hours the student is expected to use on the course
Participation: hours 37
Preparation: hours 18
Preparation for the symposium
Preparation for the symposium:
To prepare for the symposium, you must:Read the literature listed, get acquainted with the online resources and perform the exercises.
Inspirations for Day 1: Managing your supervisor:
Wichmann-Hansen G, Wogensen L, Eika B, Mulvany MJ.(2012): Successful PhD supervision – a two-way process In: M.A.R.K Castanho & Gül Güner-Akdogan (eds). The Researching, Teaching, and Learning Triangle. 10. 1st Edition, New York: Springer Publishing Company, 2012;55–66
Arvanitakis, J. 7 Steps to a Positive Relationship with your PhD Supervisor. The speaker in this brief YouTube video is the Dean at Graduate Research School Western Sydney University. Please forget that he is speaking as a representative of a specific institution. His advice is universal and he is (besides being a Dean) a recognized international researcher within the field of PhD supervision.
Inspirations for Day 2: Planning and good work habits:
Prepare a ‘Game Plan’ (Estimated time consumption 45-60 min.)
The Game Plan is a tool that can help you develop a more realistic idea of how long things take and it can help you create an overview that makes it easier to prioritize if you have too many tasks for the time being. Please watch this video (6 minutes) and follow the instruction: https://cbs.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=6a61548b-f68b-4148-8f3b-a9eb00993684. In the beginning of the video there is a reference to ‘module 3’. Please disregard this as the video is also used as a part of the Industrial PhD course at CBS.
Get a quick overview of Deep work (Estimated time consumption 10 min.)
Fadeke Adegbuyi have made a blogpost about ‘deep work’ called the ‘Complete guide to deep work’. In the blog post she summarizes Cal Newport’s book Deep work in detail. Read the introduction of the blog post and get an overview of the “table of content” (also called: Navigate the Complete Guide to Deep Work). You are not supposed to read into the chapters so stop reading when to see the headline: Learn how to practice deep work. You can read this after the seminar if you are interested in more details. You find the blogpost here: https://blog.doist.com/deep-work/
Reflect on your work habits (Estimated time consumption 30-60 min.)
In the weeks before the symposium begin to observe your own work habits. Reflect on the following questions:
When in the day am I most efficient/productive? (e.g., morning, midday, afternoon, evening)
What tend to distract me during a workday?
When do I procrastinate?
How do I plan my work?
Do I remember to have real breaks? (e.g., leave the computer for a while, go for a walk)
What is my best tip for boosting productivity/good work habits