To lead without being a manager

The seminar is divided in two parts and is aimed at supervisors whose doctoral students have been admitted to the Development programme for doctoral students at Umeå University and who are at an early stage of their doctoral education (terms 1–2).

The overall aim with the seminar is to provide supervisors with tools and practical advice to better support doctoral students in the process of developing understanding and ability to manage the requirements and expectations that doctoral studies entails.

Seminar content

The focus is on the art "to lead without being a manager" and thereby the supervisor's formal and informal role in the newly-admitted doctoral student's work situation. Areas that will be covered include challenges related to the conditions and demands of the doctoral education, as well as the occasionally conflicting goals and expectations that the doctoral education entails.

The seminar intends to develop the supervisor's ability to support and lead a doctoral student with the aim the find a good work-life balance, as well as basic ability to manage stress, conflicting goals, and expectations.
Issues to be addressed are:

  • What expectations of myself do I have in my role as supervisor?
  • What expectations do I have on my doctoral student and his/her achievements?
  • In what situations do I think my doctoral student are at his/her best?
  • What forms of communication do we use and how?
  • In what way do one give the most appropriate feedback?

Form of instruction

This seminar is held by professionals with broad expertise in psychology and extensive experience of doctoral students' unique work environment and work conditions. The seminar will consist of a combination of introductory lectures and discussions.

As a part of the programme, doctoral students and supervisors are expected to cooperate with preparatory assignments followed by home assignments.

As a second part of this seminar, supervisors are expected to participate in the final hour of the doctoral students' final seminar to enable reflection and feedback for both parties.

for more information, please contact

Mattias Jacobsson
+46 90-786 61 47

APPLication form

Apply now for the next Development programme for doctoral students.

Module 2 starts in Januari 2020
Module 3 starts in November 2020
Module 1 starts in September 2020

You do not need to have taken the previous module to apply for the following one. However, it is recommended to start with module 1.


Mattias Jacobsson