How do doctoral students and supervisors communicate about supervision?

  • Till Koglin
  • André Månberger
  • Carl-William Palmqvist
  • Fredrik Petterson-Löfstedt
  • Chunli Zhao
Keywords: Doctoral education, meta-communication, PhD Supervision


Meta-communication, or communication about communication, in doctoral supervision can improve supervision quality, reduce stress and prevent conflicts from escalating. This report studies what type of meta-communication that occurs at two divisions at LTH, frequency and how it can be improved. Six PhD students and five supervisors were interviewed. The reports finds large differences among the interviews but that structured meta-communication mainly takes place as part of the LTH introductory PhD course. It is suggested that the annual studyplan meetings and similar settings involving a third party provide a suitable fora for more meta-communication.