In case of a conflict between a doctoral researcher and a supervisor, the following steps can be taken:
- A dialogue between the doctoral researcher and the supervisor is the starting point;
- If the relationship between the doctoral researcher and the supervisor is disturbed, anyone involved can inform the chair of the Individual PhD Commission (IPC) and ask to convene the IPC. The IPC will help to solve potential misunderstandings, mediate between the persons concerned and help to find a solution that is acceptable to all parties;
- In case of problems, the doctoral researcher can always be assisted by the central ombudsperson (Luc Van de Poele) or the deputy central ombudsperson (Marleen Eyckmans), who will further mediate when no solution can be found within the department or the faculty. Marleen Eyckmans is the main contact for doctoral researchers. The ombudsperson will hear the involved parties, and afterwards will advise the dean regarding possible solutions. The ombudsperson can also be contacted in case of conflicts during the procedure for the public defence of the thesis, or if the doctoral researcher is accused of fraud. The ombudsperson will treat any complaint with discretion.