Course content

Day 1: theory, cases, discussions

  • General
  • ​Specific features: cross political, legal, social, cultural contexts
  • Assertive, independent, critical research: what does this mean?
  • Ethics, rule of law, legal IP, plagiarism, academic freedom
  • What is the political impact of international subsidizing systems?
  • Ranking of universities: what does this mean in practice?
  • Brain drain versus brain gain; cooperation or competition?
  • Stakeholders: researchers, professors, companies, …
  • Communicating ‘efficiently’: language (English as a non-native), communication patterns, dealing with conflicts, ‘open’ communication, getting things on the table, consensus, commitment.
  • Long distance communication, telecommunication, preparing a teleconference.
  • Organizational and management cultures
  • Team dynamics, team development, virtual teams
  • Leadership styles   
  • Interpersonal professional relationships
  • Hierarchical structures
  • Meetings with professors, team members, …
  • Initiative, individual performance
  • Responsibilities; who is responsible?
  • Efficiency in meeting and negotiations
  • Time, planning, deadlines
  • Crossing time zones and long-distance cooperation
  • Working in two places at the same time
  • Building common ground and trust

Day 2: Presentations and discussion

  • Presentation: your position in the international constellation, how you deal with it, what you can improve.
  • Gather different methods. Formulate tools. (a flyer will be created after the course)

International cooperation is often complex. Academic contexts across nations and cultures differ substantially in educational preferences, organizational and management culture, individual skill requirements, and expected behavior of PhD candidates (level of independent work, individual choices, mentorship, etcetera) vis-à-vis promoters, professors and third parties.

European rule of law, ethics, Socratic method, assertive pro-active communication strategies, self-management, may not always be clear to people coming from a variety of international backgrounds. International PhD students may have expectations toward UAntwerp based on the academic environment at home. Joint PhD candidates may be confronted with expectations from both universities. European researchers may not fully grasp how things work in the country or culture they interact with. Working across time zones, efficient long-distance cooperation is challenging. Apart from all practicalities, cultural differences can play a substantial role.

You learn to map your position within the international team and within the network of international relations, interests and stakeholders. This will help you to understand who you are and what you want to achieve, what others expect and how you can manage their expectations. You will feel more comfortable and will be able to work more efficiently, and reach your goals.

Practical information

Date and location:

Currently, this course is not scheduled in 2023-2024.


Jeanne Boden

Language of the course:



This course counts for 1,0 points


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