Honours+ Supervisors

Consult the supervisor handbook, sign up for the trainings, download the necessary documents, or contact Central Management.

Dear Honours+ Supervisor,

Thank you for your interest in joining the Honours+ community this year.

Honours+ is the Common Core for all faculty honours programmes.  In Honours+, 2nd-year bachelor students (1st year honours students) are challenged to work on an academic and interesting assignment (the so-called challenge) in groups of 4-6 students from different faculties.

Honours+ is organized by EDLAB, the Maastricht Institute for Education Innovation. Besides working on their interdisciplinary challenge, the students will partake in a series of workshops to work on their academic and professional skills.

If you would like to support and guide an interdisciplinary team of excellent Honours+ students during the tackling of their academic challenge? Please contact honoursplus@maastrichtuniversity.nl. Your participation is highly appreciated and we are looking forward to a successful Honours+ year together.

Warm regards,

The Honours+ Central Management Team

Honours+ Group Challenge & Role of Supervisor

Once entering the labour market, the majority of our graduates will have to work in an interdisciplinary context, whether it will be in academia or otherwise. Even more important, expectations are that your generation will be faced with unprecedented complex (global) challenges, such as energy use, health care, safety and security and climate change. Challenges that require an interdisciplinary approach and the involvement of multiple parties in order to be solved or at least dealt with. These complex issues are typified by conflicting values, mounting political pressure, and major economic interests.

In Honours+, we aim at offering our students a first learning experience to approach/tackle such (global) challenges in an interdisciplinary setting, under the professional guidance by staff members from Maastricht University, the so-called Supervisor.
The challenges you and the students will be working on are based upon and linked to the Dutch National Research Agenda, and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and therefore also in line with UM’s core strategic programme.

An overview of the available challenges can be found on our website, and we can assign 2-3 teams/Supervisors per challenge (multiple teams will be working on the same topic).

A true Honours+ challenge:

  • Is a challenging, academic and current case, issue or problem, with societal relevance;
  • Is linked to UN’s SDG’s and the Dutch National Research Agenda;
  • Pushes students outside their comfort zone;
  • Calls for an innovative solution, exploration or approach;
  • Allows and facilitates an interdisciplinary approach, with an equal input of the involved disciplines;
  • Requires a time investment of 125 hours per student;
  • Can be approached along the lines of the scientific method;
  • Either calls for a solution (applied research), or aims to advance knowledge on the phenomenon (theoretical research).
  1. Because of the interdisciplinary character of Honours+, the main role of the Supervisor is to monitor an equal input from and interaction between the various disciplines and guarantee sufficient challenge and academic depth.
  2. The Supervisor doesn’t necessarily have knowledge to a detailed level on all disciplines, but needs to stimulate the students themselves to create links between the various disciplines in the team.
  3. The Supervisor is not the source of required knowledge, but a broker of knowledge throughout the execution of the challenge.
  4. Furthermore, throughout Honours+, the Supervisor will support the team in planning, developing, and completing the challenge. The Supervisor does not take over the role of the team leader. The students will be instructed to appoint a team leader in their team. However, the Supervisors is asked to intervene when the team doesn’t display enough initiative and stimulates the students to handle pro-actively.
  5. The Supervisor takes the role of steering and guiding the group and provide for a safe learning environment, and is sensitive towards team dynamics.
  6. The Supervisor also initiates and chairs the team’s kick-off meeting and midterm feedback session.
  7. The Supervisor is in close contact with the Honours+ Central Management Team, in order to assure monitoring of the overall programme process and team development.


The main concern of the Honours+ Supervisor should be the student’s learning experience.
More detailed information about the role of the Supervisor will be included in the digital course manual for Supervisors, and free training on team dynamics will be provided.

By working on the challenge during the Honours+ programme, following the scientific method, students will get a grasp on the interdisciplinary collaboration, together with all the opportunities and challenges it provides. This learning process is vital, and the results of it are to be put in an academic report.

Furthermore, Honours+ requests each student team to translate their findings into a presentation and poster during the Closing Event.

These formats aim at teaching students how to present results to non-expert audiences and peers.  This process of transfer of knowledge begotten during the Honours+ programme, and using it to make an impact and impression, is something we wish our Honours+ students to gain further experience in.

Additionally, since multiple teams will be working on the same challenge topic, it means that teams will be able to compare each other’s progress throughout Honours+, are able to exchange knowledge and experience on the topics during the events and will be competing for the most value adding findings during the Closing Event, thus creating a system of peer support.

Honours+ defines general guidelines for the outcome of the team challenge. The further refinement of the style of the academic report needs to be defined in close interaction between Supervisor and students. Honours+ requires the following outcome (1-3):


  1. Academic report, that displays an interdisciplinary understanding of the researched subject, reflecting all involved disciplines and clearly shows what the added-value was of every discipline involved in tackling the challenge;
  2. Based on the outcome of the scientific exploration of the team challenge, each team presents their outcome during a 5-minute pitch during the Closing Event;
  3. Based on the outcome of the scientific exploration of the team challenge, each team visualizes their outcome in an A0 poster, to be exhibited during the Closing Event.

For supervising the team of students the Supervisor will receive 30 hours. The standard compensation fee is € 75 per hour. The financial administrator of EDLAB will contact your department’s controller to accommodate the transfer of the compensation to the right UM budget numbers at the end of Honours+, following the faculty regulations in this.

We require an honours mentality of our students, and needless to say, we ask the Supervisors to display exemplary behavior. Meaning that you partake in the training programme, supervise the students to your best knowledge and communicate regularly with the H+ Central Management Team.

Because of the supporting role of the Supervisor and the safe learning environment he/she provides within Honours+, we require the Supervisor:

  1. To be physically present in Maastricht during November-May to regularly attend team meetings and be available for questions the students might have. We also recommend Supervisors to be on occasions available during some evenings, to help facilitating team meetings.
  2. To help getting the team off to a good start, we require all Supervisors to be present as well during the Honours+ Kick-off on November 2nd, 18.00-22.00 hrs. Prior to the Kick-Off, from 16:00-17:30 hrs there will be an introductory training meeting to inform (new) Supervisors on how to best supervise students doing interdisciplinary research.
  3. To help teams staying on track and propel them forwards, we ask all Supervisors to be present as well during the Honours+ Midterm Peer & Expert Discussions Evenings either on 01.03.2023 or 02.03.2023.  Supervisors are requested to be present to exchange experiences with other Supervisors as an intervision session, and to help teams with questions.
  4. To support Supervisors in guiding the team and their learning process, we have organized a training programme, which consist of multiple workshops and an intervision session. Having attended all trainings, a Supervisor will be granted an official by UM’s rector approved certificate. The trainings may also count towards a Supervisor’s CPD.

H+ Supervisor Training Programme

Every year, Honours+ organizes a special training programme for Supervisors, aimed at providing everyone with the knowledge and tools required for supporting our students the best way possible.

We would like to point out that we highly appreciate everyone’s attendance at these events since it assures a high level of supervision during the Honours+ programme. Next to that, these events also bring Supervisors together to share thoughts and experiences.

We will award an official Honours+ certificate, signed by UM’s rector to all H+ Supervisors that have attended 3 trainings (the intervision session is optional). Besides that, these trainings may count towards a Supervisor’s CPD, depending on their personal development goals, in discussion with their supervisor or manager.

"Supervising students doing interdisciplinary research"

Wednesday 02.11.2022, 16:00-17:30 hrs (prior to the Kick-Off event)

This session is organized by Roosmarijn van Woerden from Utrecht University who is an expert in interdisciplinary learning and teaching and will give you further insights in how to foster effective collaboration in interdisciplinary (student)teams. There will be plenty of room to ask questions as well about the setup of Honours+.

During the actual Kick-Off event, Roosmarijn will give a lecture aimed at the students on “Interdisciplinary teamwork”, the content of which will not be overlapping with the session for the Supervisors.

When: Wednesday 02.11.2022, 16:00-17:30 hrs;

Where: Brasserie Tapijn.

Registration not required, since it takes place prior to the Kick-Off.

"The supervisees learning curve"

(Canceled due to illness of trainer)

Laura Smeets finished her doctoral dissertation on enabling employees’ learning (from errors) and professional development.
Her research started with the observation that enhancing people’s learning and professional development is a top priority for many organizations. However, learning goes along with experiencing errors. This calls for an understanding of how and when learning (from errors) and professional development requires support.

In her dissertation, she explored two main research questions: (1) what are the necessary conditions enabling young professionals to learn from their own errors? and (2) when and how do supervisors invest in young professionals to help them in their learning and development process?

During this session, Laura will shortly present the main results with regard to these two research questions. It will be elaborated on the role of supervisors in fostering professionals’ learning from errors and development.  But we will also dive deeper into which factors drive supervisors- from a supervisor’s perspective (e.g. your perspective) – to exert effort and time on professionally and academically developing supervisees.


Where: Trainings will take place at EDLAB, Tapijn building X

"Fostering resilience in Honours students"

Wednesday, 01.02.2023, 09:30-12:30 hrs @EDLAB

What motivates a student to engage in high performing activities and enroll in excellence programmes? And how can you, as a supervisor provide the adequate support for your students to keep delivering excellent academic results?

These questions are the focus of this workshop led by Adina Petre – a Clinical Psychologist and High Performance coach with over a decade of experience in working with people in her private practice, Insights. As a UM collaborator, Adina has been working with EDLAB in the past 7 years, providing both students and staff with knowledge and support in their efforts to deliver high academic performance.

By attending this workshop you will learn how to better understand the psychological profile of your students, the obstacles and hurdles that impact their motivation for group work, and you’ll take away some leads on how to further provide guidance and support to your teams so that they perform to the best of their capacity.

When: Wednesday 01.02.2023, 09:30-12:30 hrs;

Where: Trainings will take place at EDLAB, Tapijn building X

"Supervising gifted students"

Monday, 13.02.2023, 13:00-16:00 hrs @EDLAB

Giftedness is not merely about being an ‘Einstein’ and having an IQ score >130. Among students as well as among teachers confusion exist about giftedness. There is no clear definition, while there are many assumptions about giftedness, like the idea that a student should only achieve high grades and never get stuck at university. In fact, giftedness is not only mental acuity or cognitive ability, but it is a set of characteristics, including also sensitivity, doubt and setting (too) ambitious bars.

Although gifted students mention the same problems as their peer students, an extra layer of complexity is added because of these characteristics and this can influence their personal well-being and academic performance in a negative way.

Understanding of these layers by themselves and by the people in their environment like tutors/teachers/mentors, will support gifted students to develop and use their talents and learn them how to thrive in (academic) life.

After participating in this session, you will:
…have an alternative framework regarding stereotypical thinking about giftedness.
…have insight into the different struggles and associated underlying processes that gifted people may encounter.
…understand which aspects may support gifted students and how you as a mentor/tutor/teacher etc. can be of value in the guidance of these students.”

When: Monday 13.02.2023, 13:00-16:00 hrs

Where: Trainings will take place at EDLAB, Tapijn building X

"Intervision session for H+ Supervisors"

Wednesday 01.03.2023 or Thursday 02.03.2023

We kindly invite all H+ Supervisors to participate in an intervision session, during the Midterm Event for the students. This intervision session for Supervisor is aimed at exchanging experiences, ask questions, discuss team issues and network. Feel free to prepare an issue to discuss with your fellow Supervisors and gain new input.

When: Wednesday 01.03.2023 or Thursday 02.03.2023, from 20:30-21:30 hrs (part of the Midterm event for students)

Where: EDLAB’s Tapijn Building X;

We will send you an invitation in due time (attending the intervision session is optional, and not part of the certificate requirements)

Handbook & Documents

Honours+ Supervisor Handbook

Find everything you need to fulfill your role as Honours+ Supervisor.

Questions for Central Management?

Please feel free to contact Honours+

Are you interested in being an Honours+ Supervisor?

Please contact us through honoursplus@maastrichtuniversity.nl,  if you are interested in being a Supervisor.