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Planning your PhD with IPTO

IPTO: Intended PhD Training Objective

When doing a PhD, the student will need to excel on many levels such as project management, acquiring new skills and collaborating. A dynamic tool for this is the “IPTO” (Intended PhD Training Objective). The IPTO covers:

  • Project management and overview
  • Decision making
  • Supervision assistance
  • Expectations management
  • Proving acquired new skills

Project management and overview

The IPTO is an extended tool of the PhD planner to assist in project planning and overview in respect to a more detailed appreciation of milestones embedded in the project.

Decision making

It is a decision making tool when facing unforeseen problems with the project progression, which can then assist change of plans, including additional external expert into the project, and reallocation of funds and time etc.

Supervision assistance and expectation management

The IPTO is not intended to be a fixed check list, rather it is an interactive tool to assist supervision. It can also be considered as a collaboration contract of essential tasks and deliverables to be carried out during the study. Allowing alignment of expectations between the supervisor and the supervised. If necessary the IPTO should be adjusted during each supervision meeting in order to reflect the development of the project.

Proving acquired new skills

When the PhD study is finalised the outcome of the IPTO is essentially also a list of skills developed during the PhD study as well as a documentation of the work done.

Find an IPTO example

Each project and educational process has its own requirements. Hence a “one size fits all” IPTO does not exist.

Below you find an example of an IPTO from each of the three Graduate Programmes.

They are only to be seen as examples, and they can easily be modified for your own project.