The objective of a doctorate is to educate creative, critical and autonomous researchers. Skills development should be driven by the doctoral candidates themselves, in consultation with their supervisory team, in order to become independent both in their research and in their personal development (according to LERU Advice Paper, Good practice elements in doctoral training, 2014).
As stressed in the fifth Salzburg Principle on doctoral education, supervision plays a crucial role: "In respect of individual doctoral candidates, arrangements for supervision and assessment should be based on a transparent contractual framework of shared responsibilities between doctoral candidates, supervisors and the institution (and where appropriate including other partners)." The University of Basel provides a doctoral agreement template (see download section) in order to summarize the doctoral project, to monitor specific training needs of the doctoral candidate and to define annual meetings with the doctoral committee.
Information for Supervisors
Providing professional development to supervisors is an institutional responsibility, whether organised through formal training or informal sharing of experiences among staff. Developing a common supervision culture shared by supervisors, doctoral school leaders and doctoral candidates must be a priority for doctoral schools (Salzburg II Recommendations: European universities' achievements since 2005 in implementing the Salzburg Principles, 2010).