PNN launches: Malpractices hotline

PhD candidates may encounter various difficulties during their PhD trajectory. Some of these difficulties may be caused by others. For example, your (labour) rights are infringed, the supervision is lacking, agreements are not upheld or you encounter intimidation.

A first step is usually to address the issue at the university. However, sometimes you feel that you cannot go to your supervisors, management or to an internal confidential counsellor. Sometimes you simply don’t know where to go. Sometimes you have already tried but failed to solve the problems. In such cases you can report the malpractice to the PNN’s Malpractices Hotline.

Who can I notify of malpractices in respect of my PhD?

You can notify us of malpractices by sending an e-mail to: meldpunt@hetpnn.nl. The more details you give us, the better we are able to advise you.

Will my complaint be kept confidential?

Yes. We will never discuss your case with anyone outside PNN. Your personal details will not be shared with third parties without your permission.

What can PNN do for me?

We will try to give you practical advice, although much will depend on the specifics of your case. For instance, we will try to answer legal questions. If you don’t know to whom to go with a particular problem, we will try to advise you on that point. Beware that any advice given by PNN is only ancillary: we are not a labour union and do normally not provide (extensive) legal support. In addition, some questions may be difficult to answer, for example because there are no hard rules that give a definite answer to your question or because we lack the expertise. In that situation we will indicate this to you.

What will PNN do with my complaint?

We register and analyze the complaints that we receive in order to identify national trends and problems that ask for action to be taken. This means that by filing your complaint with us, you contribute to better PhD policies and practices in the Netherlands. If we decide to take action against particular malpractices, we will never refer to individual complaints or personal details without your explicit consent.

How long will it take for PNN replies to my complaint?

Those within PNN that are best equipped to answer your question, will be consulted before we reply to you. Because PNN is fully run by volunteers, who do the work next to their own PhD trajectory, it may take some time before you receive a reply. However, we do our best to answer questions within two weeks.

I do not need an advice, can I still report a malpractice?

Yes, also if you know how to solve the issue or if it has been solved already, you may report the incident. This allows us to register the malpractice. This way we can monitor whether structural problems exist with (certain) universities which call for action. This way you can help us to solve and prevent problems and to protect PhD candidates from malpractices in the future. If we decide to take action against particular malpractices, we will never refer to individual complaints or personal details without your explicit consent.