Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Confidential Counsellor for PhD Candidates

As of 1 January 2018, Leiden Law School has appointed a confidential counsellor for PhD candidates. On this page you can read what this person can do for you if in your position as a PhD candidate you experience problems for which you need external assistance.

What matters can the confidential counsellor help you with?

As a PhD candidate you can experience problems in the relationship with your supervisor or co-supervisor, your immediate superior, colleagues or other PhD candidates.  If you are unable to solve these problems, even with the assistance of the Dean of PhD Studies, you can turn to the confidential counsellor for PhD candidates.

The confidential counsellor is an independent official, who observes strict confidentiality in all matters that you discuss with her. To start with, she will listen to you. Her role is then to clarify the problem together with you and - if you so wish - to provide advice and support in solving it. The confidential counsellor will not mediate for you or request information from the person or persons that you are having difficulties with. But she can provide assistance at any meetings you would like to have with these persons or if mediation is arranged. She can also accompany to you at a complaints committee hearing if  you decide to take the matter to this authority.

Who is the confidential counsellor?

The independent confidential counsellor is not employed by the Law School. As retired professor who worked at Leiden Law School for more than thirty years, she is well aware of how things work here and the possible roads that can be taken to try to find a solution for your problem. She reports each year to the Faculty Board on her activities.  When doing so, however, she ensures that this information and the nature of the problems put to her are anonymous and cannot be traced back to the person(s) in question.

Confidential counsellor Rikki Holtmaat

For whom?

The confidential counsellor is available for all PhD candidates, including appointed PhD candidates and PhD fellows, contract PhD candidates and external PhD candidates.


Dr Rikki Holtmaat is the confidential counsellor for PhD candidates. You can contact her on workdays per email, and upon appointment. Appointments will be held at a location outside the Law School buildings.

This website uses cookies.  More information.