Understanding Society

Tilburg University is convinced that it can contribute to solving social issues by developing and transferring knowledge and bringing together people from various disciplines and organizations.

Conduct and integrity

To make the values and standards at our university explicit, a Code of Conduct has been drafted. In this code, the values that inspire working and studying at Tilburg University are described. It is a framework for reflection on the university's core values and describes the requirements regarding personal conduct of employees and students. The Code of Conduct offers room to call one another to account. Specific rules of conduct are laid down in separate regulations, which are referred to below. These regulations contain complaint procedures and provide possibilities to impose sanctions.


The VSNU (Association of Universities in the Netherlands) has produced various codes of conduct on education, research, and business operations. Tilburg University is committed to complying with these codes. There is an overview of codes of conduct for the universities on the VSNU website. The Dutch universities observe rules to prevent any market distortion when they undertake marketing activities. These rules are set out in the Code of Good Governance for Universities (version 2013).

Social Media Guidelines

The rapid growth of social media in combination with the ease of use and the potential reach of messages make social media attractive communication channels. Tilburg University encourages the use of these channels. However, these applications can also have consequences that are deemed less desirable. The employee, at all times, holds the responsibility for his or her comments made on social media.

To avoid possible negative consequences, the social media guidelines have been drawn up for Tilburg University employees.

Good Governance

Tilburg University has a two-tier governance structure: management and supervision are separate functions.

The Board of Governors has an independent position and monitors the university’s objectives. It functions as a Supervisory Board. The outside activities of the members of the Executive Board have been approved by the Board of Governors’ Remuneration Committee. These outside activities are governed by the Ancillary activities Regulations

The Dutch universities observe rules to prevent any market distortion when they undertake market activities. These rules are set out in the Code of Good Governance for Universities 2013. At Tilburg University, this Code is fully in force. Ways in which the Code is being implemented are detailed in reports by the Board of Governors and the Executive Board in Tilburg University’ annual report (in Dutch).

Administration and Management Regulations

The Administration and Management Regulations regulate the administration, management, and structure of the university. It contains provisions on the delegation of the management and administrative powers to the relevant bodies within the university and sets out the university's structure.

Scientific integrity

Tilburg University is committed to protecting and guaranteeing scientific integrity and aims to:

  • Prevent misconduct and transgressions.
  • To ensure a transparent process for reviewing cases where scientific integrity may have been compromised.
  • To increase awareness and create a culture of openness and transparency.

Scientific integrity is an essential and integral part of good research practices and is a key element in the education of future generations of researchers. In its Strategy 2018-2021 Tilburg University highlights scientific integrity as an important theme, emphasizing the importance of reliability, verifiability, impartiality, independence, and responsibility as guiding principles for good research.

Tilburg University endorses the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (2018). This code applies to all research projects and activities started after 1 October, 2018. For projects and activities that were started before 1 October, 2018, the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Academic Practice (revised in 2014) applies.

By encouraging debate and offering training, Tilburg University aims to create a culture in which academic staff and students are aware of the necessity of transparency and are willing to share and openly discuss the dilemmas and 'grey areas' inherent to responsible research.

To protect and guarantee scientific integrity in relation to academic activities, the Executive Board has adopted the Tilburg University Scientific Integrity Regulations. These regulations provide for a complaints procedure. Suspected abuses and breaches of scientific integrity can be reported to the Scientific Integrity Committee, whether or not by way of the Executive Board, or to an independent confidential advisor for scientific integrity.

The confidential advisor for scientific integrity at Tilburg University is Professor A.J. de Zeeuw. Any questions and complaints about scientific integrity may be addressed to him. If the confidential advisor believes a complaint can be resolved amicably, he will attempt to mediate, and he will offer advice on how to file a complaint with the Committee. Complaints can be dealt with anonymously.

Official complaints must be filed in writing with the Scientific Integrity Committee. The Committee will investigate the complaint and will offer its advice to the Executive Board. Complaints can be submitted to:

Tilburg University
Scientific Integrity Committee
Room C 125
P.O. Box 90153

The Committee can also be reached by e-mail via: cwi@tilburguniversity.edu.

A second opinion on a decision based on the advice of the Scientific Integrity Committee may be sought from the National Board for Research Integrity (LOWI), an independent advisory body established by KNAW, VSNU and NWO. See also the LOWI Regulations.

Data Management Regulations

The core idea of preserving and providing access to research data is verifiability and, if necessary, re-use / replication. The regulation research data management describes Tilburg University’s vision on the careful handling of, managing of, and providing sustainable access to research data.

Ancillary Activities

The Sectoral Scheme Covering Ancillary Activities (July 2017) is part of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CLA) and is a further elaboration of Article 1.14 of the CLA. The procedure and possible derogations of the Sectorial Scheme by Tilburg University are given below. In the “frequently asked questions Tilburg University regarding the sectorial scheme ancillary activities Dutch Universities,” the scheme and the procedure are explained in more detail.

All Tilburg University employees and also professors not on payroll (some professors by special appointment) who are appointed by the Executive Board, are obliged to report and ask for permission for their work for third parties in accordance with the Sectoral Scheme Covering Ancillary Activities. Even if they do not work for third parties, this must be reported.
This applies to Tilburg University in derogation of Article 7 of the Sectoral Scheme even if the employment or stay is shorter than six months. For practical considerations and transparency, the university considers it desirable that all employees and professors report their ancillary activities upon taking up employment or being appointed by the Executive Board irrespective of the length of the employment/stay.

This applies to work for third parties that an employee engages in before the commencement of the employment at Tilburg University or prior to the appointment as professor by the Tilburg University Executive Board, to work for third parties engaged in after commencement of employment or after being appointed by the Executive Board, and to possible changes of the existing ancillary activities.

Registration and Request for Permission
Registration of work for third parties, changes thereof, and requests for permission is done online through My Employee Portal. Even if employees do not engage in work for third parties, they register this online via My Employee Portal. New employees have to report whether or not they engage in work for third parties within a month after commencement of their employment in the personnel system via My Employee Portal. This is included in the employment contract or letter of appointment for a professor not on payroll. When reporting, the employee/professor states the organization for which he/she performs the ancillary activities, the number of hours spent on the ancillary activities, what kind of work it concerns, and whether the ancillary activities are paid for or not.

After the employee reported the ancillary activities in My Employee Portal, a digital workflow will be started in which the HR advisor advises the supervisor and, subsequently, the supervisor advises the Managing Director or the Dean. The Managing Director or the Dean makes a decision regarding the permission and the possible conditions. The employee will then receive a notification of the decision. The decision regarding the Managing Directors’ or Deans’ ancillary activities is made by the Executive Board.

Ancillary activities of academic staff registered in My Employee Portal in the English language will automatically become visible on the researcher’s Academic Profile Page, provided the researcher tagged them ‘Agree to publish’

Job and Performance Interviews
Because the Dutch Universities take transparency of the ancillary activities extremely seriously, supervision has been tightened up in the past few years and the Sectoral Scheme Covering Ancillary Activities has been formulated. The accuracy of the information on the Experts & Expertise pages and the registration in My Employee Portal will be checked regularly.

In the last stage of the selection procedure in which the terms and conditions of employment are agreed upon, supervisors are expected to sound out whether there are ancillary activities about which discussion may arise. Possibly, agreements can already be made whether the work for third parties can be done. In addition, ancillary activities will be a fixed item in the Result & Development interviews. Furthermore, attention will be paid to this topic regularly in the consultations of organization units and Departments.

Frequently Asked Questions
More information is included in the Sectoral Scheme and in the frequently asked questions Tilburg University regarding the Sectoral Scheme Covering Ancillary Activities Dutch Universities.


There is a clear procedure for employees or confidential advisors who want to report suspicions of misconduct. The Whistleblowers' Regulations protect employees who have made disclosures from any adverse consequences. A whistleblower is an employee who reports suspicions or illegal or immoral practices taking place under the employer's responsibility which put a major social interest at stake, to persons who could possibly take action against them. These regulations were drafted to help contribute to an honest and transparent organization and good governance.

Unacceptable behavior

If staff or students are faced with unacceptable behavior, e.g. bullying, sexual harassment, aggression and violence or discrimination, they can call upon a confidential advisor. This advisor will assist, give advice and support if necessary in submitting a formal complaint. You can read more about this in the Unacceptable Behavior Complaints Regulations.

The Complaints Committee is led by an external chairperson, who is also a lawyer, and consists of two independent members of the scientific or support staff. They are supported by an employee of Legal Affairs who acts as secretary. You submit a complaint in writing to the secretary of the Committee. The secretary composes an independent committee.

The Committee investigates the complaint, among other things, by hearing both parties during a non-public hearing. The handling of complaints is confidential and the Committee does not inform the Executive Board of the complaint until the investigation has been completed. There is an exception to this: in case it is necessary to take a temporary measure if there is an untenable situation for the person directly involved or if it is necessary for the progress of the investigation. In this case, the Committee will advise the Executive Board on this.

After completion of the investigation, the Committee will issue a report and advice to the Executive Board. The Executive Board then takes a decision on the complaint. For more details, we refer to the complaints procedure for undesirable behavior.

Confidential advisors

The confidential advisors can help you to solve problems and conflicts. They are also the contact point for employees, students and visitors on campus who are faced with unacceptable behavior, for example, sexual harassment, bullying, aggression and violence, or discrimination. They are the contact point as well when abuse is suspected, or for an employee involved in a conflict for which the regular channels have not led to a solution.

Animal Experiments Openness Code

No experiments involving animals take place at Tilburg University.