Doctoral school

Supervision excellence

High-quality supervision is one the most important elements of successful doctoral studies. The aim of the guidance provided below, which is based on the best examples from our and other universities, is to establish best practice in doctoral supervision at the University of Ljubljana. The guidance will prove useful to supervisors in performing their work and to doctoral students in developing expectations about supervision at the University of Ljubljana. The guidance also applies to co-supervisors.

Researchers who can provide the required scholarly support, infrastructure and leadership to doctoral students can opt to take on the role of supervisors.


-          are established researchers in the doctoral students’ field of research or a field closely related to it;

-          provide a place to work, the required tools and equipment, and IT infrastructure, including Internet access, to doctoral students;

-          guarantee the quality of the doctoral students’ research plan;

-          help secure the funds required for the doctoral students’ work (by providing them with information on calls for funding applications, providing support in submitting applications, etc.);

-          set an example of ethical research through their own actions;

-          ensure that the number of doctoral students they supervise does not exceed the number recommended in the Rules and Regulations for Doctoral Studies.

It is the supervisors’ task to encourage, monitor and assess the doctoral students’ work during their doctoral studies.


-          are in regular contact with the students, monitoring their research closely;

-          provide assistance in developing and adjusting the research plan if needed;

-          help doctoral students place their research within a wider context.

Supervisors help plan the students’ work:

-          in cooperation with the students, they create a research and training plan and a research data handling plan;

-          they help define the work method and standards associated with the doctoral dissertation and draw attention to already known facts in the relevant research field;

-          ensure the doctoral students’ obligations (e.g., teaching) are organised in a way that does not affect the completion of their doctoral dissertation within the agreed deadline;

-          are responsible for helping the students make progress on their doctoral dissertations and complete them within the time frames envisaged.

Supervisors promote academic socialisation by:

-          including doctoral students in the narrow and wider research community (research team and networks) and sharing their professional and organisational experiences with them;

-          connecting doctoral students with colleagues who could help them with their research;

-          encouraging doctoral students to collaborate with other doctoral students;

-          encouraging doctoral students to attend conferences;

-          advising doctoral students on how to develop their research;

-          providing a general motivation to doctoral students and encouraging their research enthusiasm;

-          encouraging doctoral students to set and achieve ambitious, but realistic goals and publish and promote research results;

-          supporting doctoral students in dealing with any professional or personal problems;

-          supporting doctoral students in planning their academic or other careers.

Supervisors assess the doctoral students’ work:

-          they attend all the students’ presentations of the various stages of their research and provide them with feedback after each presentation;

-          they regularly assess the research progress made together with the students, advising them on any adjustments required for research to follow the work plan set;

-          they provide timely and comprehensive feedback to students about the research progress made.

Supervisors help doctoral students publish their research results:

-          they draw the students’ attention to the available publication options and help them prepare texts for publication;

-          they are co-responsible for not only the students’ doctoral dissertations, but also any articles and extracts arising from their research;

-          ensure the funding sources and the affiliation with the University of Ljubljana are indicated in the publications, in accordance with the Rules and Regulations for Doctoral Studies at the University of Ljubljana.

Supervisors help doctoral students transfer their research results into practice where that is possible and required.