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Doctoral School of Sciences & Technology


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Doctoral School of Sciences & Technology

Universiteit Hasselt - Knowledge in action

OMBUDS SERVICE

UHasselt PhD ombuds service

During a doctoral project various difficulties and tripping stones may occur. If the smooth course of a PhD trajectory or the collaboration between PhD student and promoter is disturbed, both PhD student and promoter can address the ombuds person for PhD students in an attempt to get the PhD project back on track.

This ombuds person is intended as an approachable mediator, whose role it is to detect problems related to the working relationship and the PhD procedure, that may impair the smooth course of the PhD, and to address and remediate them, where possible.

During an intake meeting with the doctoral student, the ombudsperson tries to determine what is causing the problem (are the PhD regulations followed, is there a problem of guidance or rather a matter of missing expertise, is there a relational obstacle, …?) and will check what the doctoral student can do to change the situation. Important to know is that the ombuds person will always follow the pace and wishes of the doctoral student. For example, the ombuds person will never contact the promoter or arrange a meeting without the express permission of the doctoral student.
 
A final piece of advice: better not wait for big problems before contacting the ombuds person. An early meeting can sometimes quickly get the project back on track. And every now and then a good talk to a neutral person may already be enough to get started again.
 
The Hasselt University ombuds person for PhD students can be contacted via PhD-Ombuds@uhasselt.be .