Course Time and Project Management: Using the IPTO to communicate with your supervisors and keep the overview in a dynamic PhD context (after 6 months)


Course leader: Constance Kampf

Language: English

Graduate school: Faculty of Health

Course fee: 1,200.00 DKK

Status: Course is open for application

Semester: Spring 2024

Application deadline: 24/01/2024

Cancellation deadline: 07/02/2024

Course type: Classroom teaching

Start date: 23/02/2024

Administrator: Anne Fabricius

The course A1001/08 Time and Project Management: Using the IPTO to communicate with your supervisors and keep the overview in a dynamic PhD context  (after 6 months) is being offered by the Graduate School of Health, Aarhus University, 2024.

Please be aware that the pre-assignment is due 1 week before the course begins, and the post-assignment is due 2 weeks after the course ends.

Criteria for participation:
Health Ph.d. student enrolled for 6 months  

To create a framework for integrating the IPTO and project management tools into the interaction between supervisors and Ph.D. students.  The content includes time to work together with your advisor, integrating planning for key decision points related to your Ph.D. project.  In addition, you will be introduced to the PDCA framework, which stands for Plan-Do-Check-Act.  This framework will be used to reflect on how to optimize your independent work through Plan-Do; and your work with others through Check-Act.

Learning outcomes:
At the end of the course, the participants will be able to revise their IPTO planning tool and integrate key decision points into it.  In addition, they will have learned how to make connections between the high-level planning in the IPTO, and more detailed planning in their daily work.  Finally, they will build a vocabulary for discussing progress with their advisor which allows for considering progress separately from content. 

The process of “how” to use the IPTO together with your advisor will be reviewed. You will be asked to ensure your advisor (main or most appropriate of your advisors) is able to attend the same workshop together with you.  Advisors will be asked to participate from 9-11, and Ph.D. students from 10-13.  For the Project and Time Management content, emphasis will be on using the PDCA cycle as a means of connecting independent and team aspects of the Ph.D. work.  Ph.D. students will work together with their advisors from 10-11 in order to establish a dialog related to Ph.D. progress that is grounded in Project Time Management tools such as the IPTO, the PDCA cycle, and Timebox. Furthermore, the course will touch on considerations for identifying and planning your communication with key Ph.D. project stakeholders, as well as identifying key decision points that affect progress, including the relationship between stay abroad, developing research networks and finding the right committee to judge your work at the end of the process. The course includes introductions to key content alternating with exercises designed to help you reflect on your work processes, establish effective habits for ensuring you finish your Ph.d. and connect with your closet advisor about the process of using the IPTO and other project management tools to communicate your progress.

Pre-Assignment Description:  
2 documents need to be submitted 1 week before the course begins:

1) Self introduction to yourself, your PhD project, your motivation for taking this course, and what you hope to learn about Project Management

2) Make an IPTO (Intended PhD Training Objective) using your PhD application and PhD project. Details can be found at Planning your PhD with IPTO (


Post-Assignment Description:
2 Documents need to be submitted within 30 days of completing the course:

1) Revised IPTO with decision points created together with your appropriate supervisor during the workshop. 

2) A signed copy of the Check/Act agreement with your supervisor, explaining how you plan to work with the IPTO together

3) A reflection (approximately 2 pages) on the Plan-Do -Check-Act model as a tool for controlling your PhD project. 

Potential questions to answer include:

  • How does the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle help you deal with the social aspects of knowledge production? 
  • To what extent does the IPTO make the social aspects of knowledge production explicit?
  • How you move back and forth between the Plan-Do -Check-Act cycle and the IPTO to control your project?
  • How did the decision points exercise affect your understanding of your PhD process?


Hours for Student Presence: 3

Hours for Assignments: Hours  11 hours for written assignments (pre +post)


Instructors:  Constance E. Kampf, Ph.D.

Venue: Aarhus University, Aarhus

Participation in the course is without cost for:

  • PhD students, Health Research Year students and Health Research Honours Programme students from Aarhus University
  • PhD students enrolled at partner universities of the Nordoc collaboration
  • PhD students from other institutions in the open market agreement for PhD courses

Course dates:

  • 23 February 2024 09:00 - 13:00