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).

Academic integrity

Tilburg University endorses the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Academic Practice of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) and the Memorandum on Scientific Integrity of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). To protect and guarantee academic integrity in relation to academic activities, the Executive Board has adopted the Tilburg University Scientific Integrity Regulations. These Regulations provide for a complaints procedure.

As Tilburg University is committed to observing the VSNU Code of Conduct, it expects all of its academic staff to sign a declaration of academic integrity. By signing this declaration, academic practitioners confirm to have read the VSNU Netherlands Code of Conduct for Academic Practice as well as the information about scientific integrity on the relevant web pages of Tilburg University and they undertake to observe the VSNU Code and to do everything possible to promote observance of the VSNU Code in their academic environment.

Suspected abuses and breaches of academic 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 compliant 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 possibly be dealt with anonymously. Professor de Zeeuw can be reached at a.j.dezeeuw@tilburguniversity.edu, at 0031 13 466 2065, and in room C 171.

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
    5000 LE TILBURG

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.

Statement Research Data

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

At Tilburg University, agreements have been made with professors and other employees on reporting their ancillary activities. Under Article 1.14 of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CLA), university employees are obliged to notify their employer of their ancillary activities. At our university, supplementary ancillary activities regulations and ancillary activities guidelines have been adopted.

Further agreements have been made with the Minister of Education, Culture, and Science on the transparency regarding ancillary activities by professors. As a result of these agreements, the ancillary activities performed by Tilburg University professors can be found at their individual profile pages (see Experts & Expertise). It is the responsibility of the professors themselves to ensure that the information on the profile page is up to date.

As Tilburg University takes transparency as regards ancillary activities extremely seriously, it has tightened up supervision in the past few years and formulated the above-mentioned ancillary activities regulations and ancillary activities guidelines. The up-to-dateness of the information on the profile pages will be regularly checked. In addition, ancillary activities will be a fixed item in the Result & Development interviews.

For more information, please contact the HR Staff Department (phone 0031 13 466 2814).


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.

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.