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Code of conduct desirable behaviour

Undesirable behaviour such as sexual and other forms of intimidation, aggression, violence and bullying are not always visible, but they do occur. And that could also be the case at our workplace. However, this does not mean that such behaviour is acceptable.
NWO-I believes that people should respect each other's personal boundaries. With a well-considered code of conduct, NWO-I strives to achieve an optimal working climate in which undesirable forms of behaviour are not tolerated and employees can perform well.

You can read about the code of conduct/policy below and in the appendix  'Undesirable behaviour and work pressure'. You can download it from this page.

Code of conduct desirable behaviour

Not only employees but also third parties, for example, visitors or employees of contracted companies, can be involved in undesirable behaviour. That is why the Code of Conduct applies to everyone who works for or on behalf of NWO-I to act with integrity, respect and professionalism.
These three behavioural characteristics are the guideline for the desired behaviour within NWO-I and a precondition for an optimal working climate:


Everyone who works at or on behalf of NWO-I has an attitude of integrity. We not only comply with legal regulations but also act on the basis of generally accepted standards and rules of conduct, and are aware of our own responsibility. We act carefully, reliably, honestly and impartially, and are accountable for our conduct at all times.


Respect is the starting point when interacting with each other. We realise that every person we come into contact with, a colleague or someone outside the organisation, may have a different background, way of life or viewpoint, and we treat these differences with respect. This means that we treat everyone with an open and involved attitude, that we take into account and value any dissenting opinion and that we do not discriminate. Someone who holds a position within or on behalf of NWO-I can be trusted, is careful in their dealings and is accountable for their behaviour.


Everyone who works at NWO-I and acts on behalf of NWO-I has a professional attitude. We feel responsible for our personal functioning and make every effort to ensure that our knowledge and skills are at the required and desired level. In the performance of our role or function, we show commitment and loyalty to the organisation and its mission, and in providing information we are careful, reliable and complete.
If we make a mistake, we rectify it in a way that shows a correct balance between the interests of the organization and the interests of the person who is or feels aggrieved. We also remain professional in our communications, which means that we seek the right balance between freedom of expression, the NWO-I's organisational interests and the duty to keep confidential information confidential.

What to do when someone violates the Code of conduct

NWO-I stands for the above principles and relies on the judgement of its employees. If, however, someone does not act with integrity, respect, or professionalism, the person who observes this will call the person in question to account.
If addressing the behaviour does not have the desired effect, this behaviour will be reported. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the behaviour, this will be done to either the manager or the confidential adviser and/or the report will take the form of a formal complaint. A complaint leads to an investigation, and improper conduct can be disciplined.

Not every situation needs to lead to a complaint. The aim is to first engage in an interview (possibly together with your manager) with the person by whom you feel intimidated or discriminated against and to come to a solution together. Conversely, filing a complaint is sometimes the only way.

Confidential adviser

If people experience undesirable behaviour (e.g. sexual harassment, discrimination, intimidation and bullying), they can consult the confidential adviser. Confidentiality is always guaranteed. The confidential adviser is also available for questions and/or remarks.

All institutes within NWO-I and the NWO-I office have confidential advisers. It can be an employee of the institute, or an external confidential counsellor or in some cases both. For example, an external confidential adviser may be an employee of the Occupational Health and Safety Service. All university locations where NWO-I employees work also have one or more confidential advisers. NWO-I believes it is important for employees to be able to contact a confidential adviser in a safe manner.

To find a confidential adviser, please contact Maaike Cretier, the secretary of the complaints committee. She will give you the contact details of the confidential adviser at your location. You can also request this information from your P&O department or find it on your institute's intranet.


The confidential advisor for the NWO-I office is Riemke Bosch of the de Arbo-unie: "I an be reached via mail: and telephone: 06 52 50 13 39.  If I am not available, you can call (088) 272 60 26 or send an email to the Arbo-unie. I am also available for questions and/or comments. An appointment can be made, and a consultation by telephone or email".

Complaints procedure

NWO-I has a complaints procedure. Further information about this procedure can be found here. NWO-I treats all information in the strictest confidence. The secretary of the complaints committee is Maaike Cretier, +31 30 600 13 87.  She treats all information with the strictest confidence.

National hotline WetenschapVeilig

Academics regularly face threats, harassment and hate speech. To address this issue, the Universities of the Netherlands (UNL), the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) launched the platform WetenschapVeilig on 7 November 2022. Academics who are being threatened or harassed can visit this website ( 24 hours a day for help.

For more information about how WetenschapVeilig works, visit the website WetenschapVeilig (in Dutch only). There you can also visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Confidental Infomation