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.)?

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.

Internal counselors

Do you experience problems with or have any questions about:

  • interactions with your colleagues;
  • bullying, sexual misconduct, discrimination or aggression;
  • physical or psychological harm caused by the organisation of your work, the content of your work, conditions or circumstances of your employment;
  • ...

If so, then please contact one of the 7 UHasselt internal counselors or send your email to We are always willing to listen to your problems and to find a solution together.

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

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

If you need an individual consultation, you can make an appointment with a psychologist via the HR department. 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.