Social safety

Erasmus MC Graduate School

Workplaces are, by their very nature, social environments. Social safety describes the sense of feeling safe with other people. This is the kind of setting that human beings need to maximize their emotional and intellectual functioning in an integrated way:  

  • To know that you can do your job according to legal regulation. 
  • To feel free to give and receive (constructive) feedback to learn. 

Furthermore; We do not tolerate any type of undesirable conduct, including sexual and general harassment, aggression, bullying or discrimination.  


During your PhD project you may encounter difficult situations or conflicts related to your PhD-period, like disagreements with your supervisor or other colleagues of your research group, or feelings of discomfort within your working situation or circumstances. 

If you experience this, know that you have several options: 

  • First, try to communicate with your supervisor or promotor. 
  • If this does not solve matters, or if you do not feel free to discuss your problems with them, talk to someone you trust: a manager (in case this is not your supervisor), the head of your department, or a human resource consultant.
  • If this is not possible or effective, you can contact the confidential counsellors at Erasmus MC Confidential counsellors - Erasmus MC. You can contact one of the other confidential counsellors in case of a difficult situation or conflict that is related to your PhD-period (like authorships, supervision, additional tasks). The confidential counsellors do not hold authority to decide on matters, but can certainly help you reframe your problem or advice you on further steps. 
  • Another option is to contact the Erasmus MC ombudsman, Mario Buijk (, who can inform, refer (for example to a mediator), advise, mediate or conduct an independent investigation. Please note that only after your explicit consent the ombudsman can ask for information and/or start an investigation. 

Click here for all possibilities for counsellors in Erasmus MC.

General tips:

  • Communicate clearly and openly. 
  • Conduct an open dialogue on a structural basis at every level: work meetings, progress discussions, and performance interviews. 

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