Wageningen Graduate School Courses

Below you can find a list of competences, skills and career oriented courses which are organised by Wageningen Graduate Schools (WGS) in which the 7 Graduate Schools of Wageningen University (EPS, PE&RC, VLAG, WASS, WIAS and WIMEK) are formally organised. All courses are intended for PhDs and post-docs, except the courses Professional in Supervision and Effective Leadership Styles which are intended for staff supervising WU PhD candidates. Please click on the course name for more information about the course and dates at which the course is given.

Interpersonal Communication for PhD Students (IPC)

Course schedule

Dates Start time End time Coordinator  
10 and 11 April 2014 9:30 AM 5:15 PM Douwe Zuidema Apply

Course description

PhD students often find themselves in situations where good communication skills are called for. The most important one, when communicating with their supervisor. Whether it is for example in deciding upon the right direction for the research, or negotiating on how many experiments to include, young scientists find it difficult to pursue their own ideas and maintain a good relationship with important others at the same time. The question always seems to be whether the negotiation should be soft or hard. The hard negotiator always wants to win, turns the negotiation into a competition, invites hard responses to his hard actions and ends up in a deadlock. If this type of negotiator wins the argument, he may lose a valuable relationship. The soft negotiator avoids personal conflict; he makes concessions to maintain the relationship, but in the end feels unsatisfied with the results achieved.

Scientists also differ in their preferred styles of interaction. This is a personal as well as a cultural phenomenom. Still, preferred frequency and style of interaction with the supervisor are seldom discussed. Interactions are mainly focussed on the research itself. One specific moment to discuss this would be the yearly appraisal interview (jaargesprek). If interaction with the supervisor has turned into a conflict, special attention to communication styles and –strategies is needed.

NOTE: This course is designed to help you to improve your communication, but not to help you improve your English language skills

General Information

Target group: The course is set up for PhD Students
Group size: A minimum of 12 and a maximum of 16 participants
Course duration: Two days
Language: English
Credit points: 0.6 ECTS
Trainers: Brigitte Hertz (www.bhertz.nl)
Jeanine de Bruin (www.hakunamatata.nl)
Daniël Schut
Venue: Wageningen University, Wageningen Campus, Droevendaalsesteeg, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Note: Room and building will be communicated with registered and confirmed participants about one week before the start of the course.


This is an intensive two-day course; participants learn by carrying out brief assignments in small groups and receiving personal feedback from them. At the same time, they are given viable means of being able to apply what they have learnt in practice.

Day 1: Communication & Negotiating, Negotiating & Conflict Solving
Day 2: Decision-making, Appraisal Interviews

Content and focus on:

  • Recognising your own strengths and styles of communication
  • Learning other communication styles
  • Learning strategies in negotiating
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Solving conflicts
  • Working with tools for better descision making and negotiating
  • Communicating about the preferred interaction in the context of an appraisal interview


PhD candidates of Wageningen University with an approved Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) and postdocs of Wageningen University that are registered at one of the graduate schools of Wageningen (EPS, PE&RC, VLAG, WASS, WIAS, WIMEK) € 190,-
All other PhD candidates / post-docs and staff of Wageningen University € 380,-
All other participants € 760,-

Fee includes study and training material, coffee/tea and lunches.


Cancellation condition

Until five weeks before the start of the course, cancellation fee is free of charge. After this date you will be charged with the full (not reduced) fee.
Note: Exemption of payment after cancellation within five weeks before the first course day can be:
1. When you have a replacement. In this situation, please inform the course coordinator.
2. When you have a written statement from your supervisor (doctor in case of illness) indicating the valid reason (circumstances beyond your control) of your withdrawal from the course. Validity of the reason will be evaluated by the WGS Course Committee.


For more information please contact douwe.zuidema@wur.nl, tel: +31 (0)317 484926.