Support and facilities

There are a number of organizations, councils and persons within and outside the faculty that can provide support during your PhD.

Personal support

If you have any personal issues, problems, questions, complaints or conflicts during your program, there are various people to consult.


Every PhD candidate is assigned a mentor. The mentor is a (assistant or associate) professor, usually from your research department, who monitors your progress in the PhD track independently from your supervisors and unjudgmentally. The mentor is also available if you run into trouble with your supervisors, trouble that you cannot solve yourself. In the event that no mentor is available, please contact dr. Egbert Mulder, policy officer for PhD affairs, who acts as confidant for PhD candidates of the graduate school.


The central HR Service Desk is your first point of contact in case you have practical questions about employment conditions. They can help you with matters regarding the Self-service HR system, the Terms of Employment Options Model and other UU regulations. For any other HR related questions that they cannot answer, please contact the HR department of the Science Faculty. You can also contact their department for any personal issues you might have.

More information on various HR topics can be found on the Intranet.


At Utrecht University, sick leave or other absence is a matter between the employee and his or her promotor. Both the employee and the promotor can seek advice in this regard from a physician from the Occupational Health and Safety Service (Zorg van de Zaak). Dring visiting hours, you can also visit the ‘Zorg van de Zaak’ doctor for advice on preventing sick leave or other work-related health issues, e.g. if you feel you may become burn-out.


When problems occur at work, someone from the Staff Welfare Service (bedrijfsmaatschappelijk werk) can help you with independent, professional advice. With a Staff Welfare Officer, you can discuss your situation or she can help you to organize and clarify the problem. Often it is a convergence of circumstances that undermines your resilience. Sometimes one conversation provides sufficient perspective to be able to move forward. Supervisors can turn to a Staff Welfare Officer if they identify a (potential) problem of this nature with an employee.


The Confidential Advisor for Staff (ombudsman), is available to all employees of Utrecht University who have complaints or questions about circumstances or incidents at work. These may be related to managers, colleagues, the working environment or the way in which complaints or questions are handled. The advisor is an approachable, impartial person to talk to, who can handle complaints, offer advice and act as an intermediary between parties. Additional information about this issue is available on intranet.

Confidental advisor for inappropriate behaviour

If you are faced with inappropriate behavior in the workplace, such as intimidation (sexual or otherwise), violence and/or aggression, you can contact the Confidential Advisor for Inappropriate Behavior. Among other things, the Confidential Advisor will provide support, guidance and mediation. If necessary, you can subsequently file a complaint with the Inappropriate Behavior Committee. All information is treated in the strictest confidence. Additional information about this issue is available on intranet.

Research-related support and facilities

There are departments and tools to help you with matters related to research. 


The Research Support Office (RSO) helps researchers at the science faculty with information on grants and potential scholarships, both national and international. For example, if you wish to pursue a further career in academia, RSO may inform you about the possible grants that you could apply for. RSO also offers workshops, coaching, and has extensive experience with writing grant applications. 


In order to guarantee transparency, replicability and good science, Utrecht University developed a university policy framework for research data management. It also provides courses, advice and background information on data management, through RDM support. Please note that ethics and privacy play an important role in research data management as well (see for example the overview of online RDM tools).


If your research involves working with human participants, you or your promotor may want to obtain ethics approval before starting your research. Try to get approval for a whole research line, rather than for one specific experiment. Ask your supervisor(s) about the guidelines and procedures within your research program. You can contact the Science-Geo Ethics Review Board for ethic reviews. 


Everyone involved in academic teaching and research at Utrecht University shares in the responsibility to maintain academic integrity. There is an academic integrity counsellor at faculty and university level, who you can contact for questions, dilemmas or complaints regarding academic integrity. The counsellor is an approachable, impartial person with whom you can discuss issues in this area, for example, in education, research or collaboration with third parties. He has an advisory role and is accountable to the Faculty Board. All information given is confidential and will only be reported anonymously. Additional information about this issue is available on intranet


The Communication and Marketing department of the faculty, supports the design of posters, PhD theses and other cartographic and graphic illustrations.