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Independance: further details and guidelines

In which situations could you be confronted with the theme Indepence? Where can you find further details and guidelines?

Ancillary activities

Ancillary activities can lead to questions about conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof. That is why we have additional regulations in this area. You also need permission from your manager to perform your ancillary activities.

You are not obliged to report ancillary activities (and therefore to ask for approval) if all the following conditions are met:

  • the ancillary activities obviously have no connection whatsoever with your work at Tilburg University, and
  • the ancillary activities can in no way (manifestly) harm the interests of Tilburg University, and
  • the ancillary activities do not compromise the proper performance of your job, and
  • the ancillary activities are performed outside working hours, and
  • no remuneration of any kind is received for the ancillary activities.

This could include, for example, board membership of an amateur sports club.

If you have any doubts about whether a certain ancillary activity must be reported, you should discuss this with your manager. In general, if you have any doubts, report them. Prevention is better than cure.

After you report any ancillary activities (in My Employee Portal), the Managing Director or Dean will take the decision regarding permission.

It may be that the risk of a conflict of interest is very small or that additional conditions are imposed (e.g., no advisory work to relations or employees of the university, limitations regarding time spent on the activity or agreements about income). In some cases, an ancillary activity can be refused because of unacceptable risks.

In addition, full professors are obliged to publish their ancillary activities in the interests of transparency (Research Portal (Pure).

For further details, see the Sectoral Scheme covering Ancillary Activities and the frequently asked questions ancillary activities.

Private relationships

It can happen that Tilburg University employees are not only colleagues, but also friends, partners, or family. In these cases, it is particularly important that all parties involved remain professional and objective and are aware of the integrity risks that these private relationships can entail.

Situations in which friends, partners, or family members work in a hierarchical relationship or assess or monitor each other’s work are undesirable. If these situations occur, it is important to explicitly discuss the potential integrity risks with the manager(s) involved. Then, together, consider how best to deal with this situation. If necessary, work agreements are made or tasks are redistributed. A transfer to another unit or other measures may also be considered.

Private relationships between students and lecturers who supervise and/or assess them are undesirable and should be reported immediately. The same applies to private relationships between a PhD candidate and his/her thesis (co-)supervisor. A relationship with an underage student is never allowed.

Of course, private relationships amongst students themselves do not have to be reported, unless you have to assess or monitor each other. If this is the case, you should report this to your supervisor.

Accepting gifts or invitations

No matter how personal it may seem, you will always receive a gift or invitation for a non-work related activity because you (also) have a certain position. The best thing is not to accept gifts. Because it can be difficult to refuse a gift or invitation, it is advisable to communicate and explain this clearly in advance.

A number of starting points to help you decide whether or not to accept an invitation to an event (outing, trip, dinner, performance, etc.):

  • discuss the invitation in advance with your manager;
  • determine whether your presence at the event is functional;
  • pay as much as possible yourself and declare the costs incurred in accordance with the internal reimbursement regulations.

See further details in the Guidelines for Receiving Business Gifts (Dutch only).

Consultation with manager or supervisor

In the following situations, always consult with your manager or supervisor:

  1. for the acceptance of paid or unpaid work as ancillary activities. This applies to all Tilburg University employees and also to non-salaried full professors who are appointed by the Executive Board.
  2. if there is a (potential) appearance of a conflict of interest.
  3. if you doubt the influence of others on the design, content, and results of your research.
  4. when receiving gifts that do not comply with the aforementioned guidelines. Your manager decides what to do with it. For example, a gift for the benefit of the organizational unit.
  5. in the case of a private relationship between employees or between a student/PhD candidate and the professor/lecturer who supervises and/or assesses him/her.

Further details and guidelines