Universiteit Leiden

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Graduate School of Science

Confidential counsellor

Leiden University wants to create a safe and stimulating environment for everyone. However, you may experience issues at work that you cannot solve yourself. Your first point of contact for such situations is your supervisor. If you feel you cannot talk about it with your supervisor, you can turn to a confidential counsellor. This page covers who you can approach for which kind of issue.

Issues regarding (finishing) your PhD

It is possible that you experience issues related to your PhD that you cannot discuss with your supervisor directly. If so, you can contact our faculty’s confidential counsellor for PhD candidates, Prof. Annemarie Meijer. You can turn to Prof. Meijer with anything you think creates an obstruction to a timely completion of your thesis. For instance, if you are not satisfied with the quality of supervision, or meeting frequency; if you have a conflict with your supervisor about work or teaching load; if you feel there’s an excessive pressure on publishing. Even if you think your problem is minor, you are still encouraged to meet with her, as it might prevent this small problem from turning into a bigger obstacle.

If you decide to meet with Prof. Meijer, she will listen to you and give you advice on how to deal with things. She will offer support and could contact your supervisor if you like (only with your consent). She will not act as a mediator, but can accompany you and provide assistance in meetings on your request. With many years of experience as a PhD advisor, she will be able to offer very useful and practical advice.  

Who is Annemarie Meijer?

Annemarie Meijer is a Professor at the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL). She received her PhD from Leiden University in 1993 and was appointed professor in Immunobiology in 2015. She has broad experience with international networks for PhD education, having served as scientific and training coordinator of several Maria Skłodowska-Curie projects. Furthermore, she has many years of experience in advising PhD candidates, including those with regular employment contracts or those supported by personal scholarships. She is therefore the right person to turn to for advice regarding your PhD. In her role as a confidential counsellor, she is independent and observes confidentiality.


If you'd like to meet with Prof. Meijer, you can either send her an email (a.h.meijer@biology.leidenuniv.nl) or call her (+31 71 527 4927). She is usually able to schedule a meeting with you within a week. It is also possible to contact a confidential counsellor from a different Graduate School.

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