PhD confidential advisors CAPHRI

What do the confidential advisors do?

The confidential advisors can help solve conflicts. PhD candidates who are confronted with problems that may hinder the performance of their PhD project, such as conflicts in the relationship with their supervisors can contact them for advice and support. PhD candidates who are confronted with undesirable or unacceptable behaviour, e.g. sexual harassment, bullying, or discrimination, can also contact them.

The CAPHRI confidential advisors are Dr Anke Oenema, a.oenema@maastrichtuniversity.nl and prof.dr. Jochen Cals, j.cals@maastrichtuniversity.nl

The responsibility of the confidential advisor

The primary responsibility of the confidential advisor includes creating conditions in which those involved are (again) prepared to discuss the problems and thus contribute to the resolution of these problems. The confidential advisor does not replace the existing procedures. If the confidential advisor is notified of a problem, she will first of all check whether the matter is already being dealt with by the competent persons or internal authorities. If this is the case, the confidential advisor will act with reserve.

The confidential advisor's working method

The confidential advisor discusses with the complainant the problem signalled and assesses which individuals or internal authorities can best deal with the matter. She subsequently can provide advice, enabling complainants to try and solve their problems on their own without further efforts by the confidential advisor. If required, the confidential advisor can submit the problem to a person or authority who is best qualified to deal with it. If required, the confidential advisor can act as a mediator while the problem is being dealt with by other people. Whatever approach is chosen, the confidential advisors will always tailor their involvement in consultation with and after approval by the complainant. Care and confidentiality are key words in the way the confidential advisor works. The confidential advisors are obliged to treat all information confidentially. In addition, a complaints officer will not obtain information from other persons or authorities without the complainant's explicit consent.