Wellbeing during your PhD

Father and child

Doing a PhD can at times be stressful. Balancing research with teaching and a social life might at some point even raise difficult questions. How do I say ‘no’? How do I set the right priorities? What are the factors that makes me feel stressed? What gives me energy and how do I retain pleasure in my work? Who should I reach out? At Erasmus University Rotterdam, we care about the wellbeing of our PhD candidates and offer them many tools to stay healthy and happy.

Are you already doing a PhD at Erasmus University Rotterdam? On MyEUR, the intranet for employees, you can read more about the facilities and services listed below.

PhD Psychologist

Your PhD is a demanding trajectory; you’re in the lead of challenging research projects, you’re trying to position yourself in the academic field and you try to determine your own path, but in agreement with your supervisors. It can be very challenging and stressful to be dealing with all these topics. Talking with a psychologist can help you to continue your PhD in a healthy and productive way.

Dealing with work pressure

Erasmus University Rotterdam attaches a great deal of importance to vitality and a healthy professional work environment and feels responsible for managing the workload within our organisation. There are various people you can turn to for help:

  • The confidential counsellors offers support to staff and students in resolving problems related to inappropriate behaviour.
  • The scientific research confidential advisor helps with questions, suspected transgressions and abuse with regard to scientific integrity.
  • The PhD psychologist is there primarily for PhD candidates who may be experiencing a range of problems, including psychological issues caused by performance and
    work pressure.

Balancing work and life

Erasmus University Rotterdam has several work-life balance coaches who can help employees of EUR with finding the right balance between work and life. The coach is an independent person who provides support and helps you find solutions. On your initiative and when it suits you best, you can contact one of these coaches and request an individual coaching session. The conversations will be during working hours and are strictly confidential. You do not have to inform your supervisor.

Already doing a PhD at Erasmus University Rotterdam? Read more on MyEUR, the intranet for employees.

Confidential Counsellors

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) prides itself on its diversity, international orientation and commitment to a safe and inclusive working and study environment. Nevertheless, as in any other academic institutions you can be confronted with unwanted behavior or can witness unwanted behavior. If there ever is a situation in which you feel bulled, mocked, discriminated or harassed, for instance in relation to your gender identity or expression, sexuality, race or ethnicity, socio-economic background, geographical origin or religion, etcetera, you can reach out to one of the confidential counsellors.


The Complaints Committee on Undesired Behaviour with regard to sexual harassment, aggression, violence, bullying and discrimination is independent and objective and its specific task is to examine complaints in this area. The committee comprises three members, including a lawyer. The committee’s secretarial office is located in the EUR’s Administrative and Legal department (BJZ).

EUR Ombudsperson

The ombudsperson investigates complaints about the way in which the University behaves towards staff and students and can also conduct independent investigations in response to complaints. For more questions, you can send an email to ombudsofficer@eur.nl.

Company welfare worker

If you experience any type of obstacle that prevents you from doing your job properly, the best thing is to discuss this with an independent person who is not directly involved in your work situation. A person such as the staff welfare officer can help you find a solution to a problem and will assist you – and your manager if necessary – in dealing with the problem.

Occupational physician

The occupational physician [Dutch: bedrijfsarts] is the point of contact for EUR employees concerning any illness-related absenteeism. The occupational physicians invite members of staff (on sick leave) during surgery hours. In addition, they may be consulted by all EUR employees regarding work-related health problems, e.g. on VD work, physical stress, risks during pregnancy, or alterations of the workplace.

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