Universiteit Leiden

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Graduate School of Humanities

PhD counsellor(s) & Confidential Advisor for PhD Candidates

As of April 10, 2018, the Faculty of Humanities has appointed a confidential advisor for PhD candidates. Besides a confidential advisor for all PhD candidates at Faculty level, each Institute of the Faculty of Humanities also has one (or two) PhD counsellor(s). On this page you can read who they are and what they can do for you if in your position as a PhD candidate you experience problems for which you need external assistance.

With what matters can the confidential advisor and/or PhD counsellor(s) help you?

As a PhD candidate you can experience problems in the relationship with your supervisor or co-supervisor, with your immediate superior, colleagues or other PhD candidates.  If you are unable to solve these problems you can turn to the PhD counsellor of your Institute or the confidential advisor for PhD candidates. You can directly approach the confidential advisor if you do not wish to (first) consult your PhD counsellor about your issue(s).

PhD counsellors at Institute level

Most of the institutes have PhD counsellors. These staff members are deeply embedded in the Institute, are easily approachable and are there if you are in need of a confidential talk, advice or a helping hand. Although PhD Counsellors are not trained as confidential advisors, they do however have extensive experience with all kind of PhD related issues.

Please click on the link below to see who the affiliated PhD counsellors are at your Institute.

LUIP (to be appointed)

Confidential advisor

The confidential advisor is an independent official. He or she observes strict confidentiality in all matters that you discuss with him or her. To start with, (s)he provides a listening ear. His/her role is to, together with you, clarify the problem. And, if you so wish, to provide advice and support in solving the issue (and future occurrences thereof). Please note that, the confidential advisor will not mediate for you or request information from the person or persons with whom you are having difficulties . However, (s)he can provide assistance at any meetings you would like to have with these persons or if a mediation is (to be) arranged. The confidential advisor can also accompany you at a complaints committee hearing if and when you decide to take the matter to this level of authority.

Who is the confidential advisor?

Rosalien van der Poel is affiliated with Leiden University since the 1990s.  Before she began her professional employment at the university she worked in the field of residential youth care. After finishing her MA at Leiden University in Art History in 2008, Rosalien received her PhD in 2016 on Chinese export paintings in Dutch collections at the Graduate School for Humanities at the same university.

Alongside her PhD, Rosalien worked as Head of Cabinet and protocol at the rector’s office of Leiden University. In February 2018 she was appointed as Institute Manager of the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA) of the faculty of Humanities. Rosalien is well informed on how things operate at a university level and she is well-acquainted with the Faculty of Humanities. Therefore, Rosalien van der Poel is the right person for the job of confidential advisor. Each year she will report on her activities to the Faculty Board of Humanities. However, when doing so, she ensures that the information and the nature of the problem(s) provided to her remain anonymous.

For whom?

The confidential advisor is available for all PhD candidates of the Faculty of Humanities, including contract PhD candidates and external PhD candidates. PhD candidates from the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA) may contact the confidential advisor of the Faculty of Social Sciences or the Law Faculty.


Rosalien van der Poel is the confidential advisor for PhD candidates affiliated to the Faculty of Humanities. You can contact her per email and by phone.

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