Are you experiencing problems with your promoter or with the progress of your PhD? 
Is the relationship with your colleagues not going as it should (bullying behavior, sexual misconduct, discrimination, etc.)? 
Do you experience stress during your PhD?
Are you experiencing personal or family problems and do you need a sympathetic ear?
Do you have an integrity question?

In that case, there are several people at UHasselt who can help you. Take a look here to see which people are there for you.

Next to these people, there are also other useful initiatives.

Internal counselors

Hasselt University attaches great importance the well-being of its employees and to the respectful contact between colleagues. UHasselt wants to detect and solve relating problems as soon as possible.

Therefore, Hasselt University provides a team of internal counselors who can help when problems occur. These counselors are trained for their role and guarantee full confidentiality of each contact. These counselors are also available for PhD researchers, independent on their contract type.

What can the internal counselors do for me?

For all questions or reports related to psychosocial well-being at work or transgressive behavior, you can contact an individual confidential counselor of your choice, e.g. stress-related questions, a conflict situation, the organisation of your work, undesirable behaviour, etc.

More information about the UHasselt internal counselors is available on this intranet page.

Contact point Transgressive behavior

The contact point is there for all staff members (including doctorandi) and students of UHasselt. A report may concern transgressive behaviour by a student, staff member or visitor on campus.

What is transgressive behaviour?
Behaviour is undesirable if it crosses your personal boundary. The perception of whether behaviour is acceptable or not is partly subjective. That is why clear communication about your personal boundaries is important.

Reports can be about intimidation, affecting your personal integrity, verbal and/or physical aggression, discrimination, bullying, sexually undesirable behaviour, among other things.

More information about the contact point transgressive behavior is available on this intranet page.

Ombudsperson for PhD students

What does the ombuds service for PhD students entail?

The ombudsperson for PhD students is intended as an approachable mediator, whose role is to identify problems relating to working relationships and the PhD procedure, that may impair the smooth course of the PhD, and to address and remediate them where possible.

What problems can you turn to the ombudsperson?

During a PhD project, numerous difficulties and obstacles may arise. If the smooth progress of the PhD trajectory or the working relationship between the PhD student and the promoter is disturbed, both the PhD student and the promoter can appeal to the ombudsperson for PhD students in an attempt to get the PhD project back on track. If you have any doubts about the continuation of your PhD and you want to discuss this with someone independently, you can also appeal to the ombudsperson.


In case a PhD student contacts the ombudsperson, a conversation with the PhD student will be organized in which the ombudsperson tries to identify the problem:

  • Are the PhD regulations respected;
  • Is there a problem with guidance;
  • Is there a lack of expertise;
  • Is there a relational obstacle…?

The ombudsperson will also look at what the PhD student himself is capable of or is willing/able to do to change the situation. It should be emphasized that the ombudsperson will always keep pace with and respect the wishes of the PhD student. For instance, no contact will be made or no conversation will be started with the promoter without the express permission of the PhD student.


To conclude, some good advice: do not wait until there are major difficulties before starting a conversation with the ombudsperson. An early meeting can often quickly put the PhD project back on track. And every now and then a good talk with a neutral person may be all that's needed to get started again.


The ombudsperson can be reached at The ombudspersons for PhD students are Stefanie Kerkhofs and Stephanie Ruysschaert. 

(Student) psychologist

Group session

The student psychologists organize information sessions and workshops that are open to PhD researchers (only available in Dutch). More information is available on this website.

Individual session

If you need an individual consultation, you can make an appointment with a psychologist via the HR department (prevention advisor psychosocial aspects). More information is available on this intranet page.

First aid with integrity issues

Do you have an integrity question? Do you need help?

Take a look on this website.