Optimizing cooperation in international research groups


Career management

Target group

Members from the Doctoral Schools and other researchers. Belgians and international participants are welcome.

Maximum 14 participants




Jeanne Boden, PhD - Managing Director at Cultural Quantumand  Chinaconduct


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 students (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 UGent 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.


2 days (10:00 - 16:00)

Course content

  • Day 1: theory, cases, discussions

-    Specific features: cross political, legal, social, cultural contexts
-    UGent ‘Dare to think’, Belgium, Europe
-    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)

Time schedule and Venue

Dates 2020
Time (1 course = 2 days) Room/Venue

(Monday) 17 + 24 February 2020

from 9h30 till 16h00

leszaal 5.1 (5th floor), FPPW, H. Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Gent


Registration fee

Free of charge for members of the Doctoral Schools. The no show policy applies: no-show policy UGent


Please read the cancellation policy: cancellationpolicycourses

Teaching methods

Seminar; Assignments



Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

Presence and active participation
Assignments (questionnaire, mapping one’s position within the international cluster, presentation)