Supervision of doctoral theses.
How to prevent and cope with problems and incidents?
Would you like to collaborate with us and receive personalized advice?
Have you experienced any problem or incident that you do not know how to resolve? Would you like to receive personalized counselling from our team of counsellors in the analysis and resolution of the incident? Do you want to know how to prevent it from happening again? Or do you simply want to collaborate on the project?
To collaborate with us, you just have to:
Download the reduced version of the PhD-PANIC guide,
Use it to tell us about an incident or problem you have experienced as a supervisor (you can see an example on the right), and
Send it to
We will soon answer to schedule one free advice session in which we will help you identify the causes of the incident, define resolution and prevention strategies and solve dilemmas and tensions.
On the other hand, as one of the objectives of the project is to continue expanding this website with didactic materials for the improvement of the doctoral supervision, the PhD-PANIC guide that you have sent us can be an inspiration for the elaboration of Guides for Case resolution. Obviously, guaranteeing anonymisation at all times of the actors and contexts involved to avoid its identification and provided you authorize the publication of the material.
For a couple of years, I have co-supervised the thesis of a student, Marc, with the PI of my group. Normally, the student and I meet weekly to talk about the analysis and progress of the thesis, and once every two months the three of us meet and the student presents the last results. That is to say, I am in charge of the day-to-day supervision of the thesis. The problem is that for about six months now, his work is not moving forward. The student is blocked. What we discussed and agree on at meetings does not materialize in the analysis and he is getting increasingly de-motivated and negative. The last two meetings with the co-director have been tense since she also sees that the thesis is stuck and she asked us for an explanation. Also, I met with her at a meeting and she told me she is very unhappy with this student and I felt she was questioning my work as a co-supervisor.
I do not know how to unblock this situation. The responsibility that the student advances is mine but I have little experience and I have never had to deal with a case like this before. I know that some of my colleagues sometimes choose to do the analysis or write the articles themselves... I really want the thesis to progress and, above all, I want to publish; it would help me get a tenure-track position.
Example of a narrative of an incident (250-300 words approx.):