Superb Supervision: integrity training for supervisors

From The Embassy of Good Science

Superb Supervision: integrity training for supervisors

What is this about?

Superb Supervision is an initiative from Amsterdam UMC. The course consists of a three- day long training from 9 to 5 in which researchers are taught skills to become better supervisors and to supervise responsible research. The course is designed for either junior- or senior-researchers that (will) have a role as a supervisor. The main objectives of the course are raising awareness, training skills to enable responsible practice, and providing guidance to practice research with integrity. The exact program and registration can be found here (junior) and here (senior).

For whom is this important?

In Detail

The start of Superb Supervision

“Some people, when you let them swim, come out really well. It is a bit a of a matter of luck and not everyone has it. A little thing can cause unfortunate struggles where a supervisor could have given you the support that you deserve.” (Tamarinde Haven, translated from Dutch)

The motivation to start a course for supervisors goes a long way back, according to PhD-candidate and one of the initiators Tamarinde Haven. During her PhD project on academic research climate, a survey within AmsterdamUMC research institutes revealed inadequate supervision to be a major concern. To improve this situation, 'Superb Supervision' courses for Junior and for Senior researchers were developed. The courses aim to improve supervision skills and to encourage responsible research.


Superb Supervision first started with a pilot version, which was very positively evaluated. The current program has been running since January 2020. The course developers (Joeri Tijdink, Lex Bouter, Louise Mennen and Marlies Stouthard) come from different universities in Amsterdam. The course is promoted through the webpage of AmsterdamUMC. Superb Supervision hopes to be sustainable through course fees alone. Whilst this might demotivate researchers to register,  a positive side-effect is that people usually not drop out.


After each day of the course, an evaluation takes place in which the relevance, topics, and duration of the course are discussed. Reactions so far have been positive. Supervisors who sign up for the Superb Supervision course are however usually already aware of the importance of good supervision. The course is voluntary, so it is debatable if the 'bad supervisors' are reached.

Other information