Frequently Asked Questions

Contact info

Student desk: [email protected] | +31 (0)20 598 5020
- Accessible by mail: Monday till Friday from 10:30 - 17:00 hrs.
- Accessible by telephone: Monday till Friday from 10.30 - 12.30 and 14.00 - 16.00 hrs.

International Service Desk: 
Find the contact information for your programme here

HRM service desk: [email protected] | +31 (0)20 598 2882
- Accessible by mail and telephone: Monday till Friday from 08:30 - 17:00 hrs.

General

VU Amsterdam follows the advice of the RIVM for public health and the advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for travel abroad. Together with other Dutch universities, VU Amsterdam keeps a close eye on these advices and communicates via this page if there are any updates for students, staff and visitors.

Protocols have been written and are available for various activities. These protocols and an overview of the measures on campus can be found on VUnet.

We ask staff and students to follow government guidelines and only come to VU Amsterdam when it is really necessary. Work and study as much as possible from home. Keep a meter and a half distance. Avoid crowds. Wash your hands regularly. Stay at home and avoid contact with others if you have a cold. Also stay at home if a roommate has a fever and/or is cramped. We also point students to follow the government guidelines in their private environment and at study and student associations. In addition, an overview of the measures on campus and other information can be found on VUnet.

No, all events, meetings and information days until 1 September at VU Amsterdam have been cancelled, or in some cases will be held online.

Effective from June 15, the University Library in the VU main building will be open daily for reservation pickups by VU students and staff. Anyone working on their thesis will also be able to consult books on site. 

Look here for current information about the services of the University Library.

Opening times
Our opening times have been changed until further notice. Monday to Friday from 9.30 am till 4.00 pm. Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 am till 2.00 pm. The Medical Library in the VUmc hospital will remain closed until further notice.

All digital books and articles are available online and accessible from anywhere. Check the website of the library for help. The VU Bookstore can also provide study materials and books. These are available online and/or by post.

Online services
All online services are fully accessible. The UB helpdesk is online and will help you as soon as possible.

If any of the books in our collections are indispensable for your study or graduation, we suggest you first contact your thesis supervisor or tutor to discuss possible alternatives. If no one is available we will be more than happy to look into possibilities for delivering books or scans. Send your request to [email protected] or call 020 -5985200. Your request should be as comprehensive and  specific as possible, including, for example, details from LibSearch.

No, the application deadline for courses is postponed to 1 June. This applies to all courses, including courses at other universities. For non-EU/EEA students, the deadline is 1 May (instead of 1 April). 

For courses at VU Amsterdam that apply a decentralized selection, such as Medicine, nothing will change in the data. They announce the ranking numbers to the candidates in accordance with the regular procedure. 

Different deadlines may apply to students with an international preparatory education. Contact the International Office for more information: [email protected]

The assessment is a permanent part of the admission for the premaster. VU Amsterdam is investigating whether the assessment will still take place in its current form. If there will be changes, we will mention this on the website. Students who have already signed up for the premaster assessment will be informed by email if any changes will take place. We advise students to keep an eye on the website and to continue preparing for the assessment.

Students

Information for international students can be found on this webpage of the International Office. 

The Dutch version of the frequently asked questions can be found on this page.

Employees/PHD

Yes, the Executive Board asks all employees who are able to work from home (for other activities than vital processes, location-based research or location-based education in particular) to work from home as much as possible. In this way, we prevent congestion in traffic and on campus, and help to limit the spread of the virus. For activities that can only be carried out on campus, including certain research activities, protocols have been drawn up as to how these can be carried out safely within the applicable government guidelines. In addition, there are limited opportunities to work on campus for employees who are not involved in vital processes, location-based research or education, e.g. for important discussions or to meet colleagues from time to time (1.5 metres away, of course). Discuss these possibilities with your manager. These activities, too, take place exclusively within the applicable corona protocols to enable safe working practices.

The following applies at all times: if you suffer from a cold, or a roommate has a fever and/or is cramped, stay at home and do not come to VU Amsterdam.

Tips for working from home can be found at vu.nl/workfromhome

Working from home remains the standard, but there are also possibilities on campus. Discuss these possibilities with your manager. If you are going to work on campus, make sure that you know the campus protocol and corona plan of your own faculty or department in advance and that you adhere to the agreed guidelines, so that working on campus is as safe as possible for everyone.  

The following applies at all times: if you suffer from a cold, or a roommate has a fever and/or is cramped, stay at home and do not come to VU Amsterdam.  

Updating VU laptop

Employees with a Windows workstation can connect to the VU network via eduVPN, so you don't have to go to campus for updates or expired licenses. If you have a managed laptop (green/orange), you should connect it to the VU network once every three months. If you don't, you won't receive any updates and there's a chance that your laptop is malfunctioning or that the licenses on your laptop have expired. From now on, you can connect to the VU network via eduVPN, so you don't have to go to campus for these things. If you cannot update your laptop at home via eduVPN, you can come to VU Amsterdam to do so at your workplace or at the IT service desk in the W&N building. Read more about updating from home on VUnet.

Remember that you must be able to show your VU card when entering the building.

The corona crisis has changed many things but when it comes to parking on campus, the standard situation still applies. This includes the general terms and conditions when applying for parking permits. Due to the limited number of parking spaces available, no exceptions can be made. Full details about parking on VU campus can be found at www.parkerenbijvu.nl.

Contact your supervisor or contact person at VU Amsterdam and discuss the possibilities for a later start. And contact the International Office.

Everyone works from home as much as possible. In some cases this is not possible and on a limited scale, within the government guidelines, location-based research on campus is possible. Please contact your supervisor about the possibilities.

There will be no defence ceremonies in the VU Main Building until 1 September. Defence ceremonies until 1 September will take place online. PhD students and other parties involved will receive a message about this from the Beadle.

Employees/PHD: Teaching

VU Amsterdam responds to the call to provide only remote teaching until 29 June. We attach a lot of value to the continuity of education, which is why the Executive Board and deans have made the call to teachers to do their utmost in making an effort to offer education online. We realise that this is not always possible. Make the switch only if the quality of the education can be guaranteed. See Canvas for more information on online education.

In order to facilitate the transition to remote education, a Canvas page has been set up with compact information about the possibilities of online education. On this page you will find practical tips about setting up a web conferenceor making a knowledge clip. As additional support, the faculty contact persons are available to answer your questions. You will soon receive an email with contact details of the faculty.

Questions? 
For all other questions, you will find a Canvas discussion board (=forum) on the canvas page. Gerdien Jansen, Silvester Draaijer, Canvas functional management and the AVC colleagues will make every effort to answer all questions that are asked as well as possible. To be able to participate in the discussion board, you have to enrol on Canvas. Instructions about this can be found on the Canvas page itself. Every working day from 12.00 - 13.00 there is an online meeting where teachers can ask their questions. 

Inform students about your online education through Canvas, also on update on your course!

If you cannot offer education online, check whether there are alternatives and consult with your programme director. If this is not possible, consult your programme director for alternatives. If this concerns compulsory education that cannot be offered online, you will be asked to assess whether the compulsory components are strictly necessary, whether they can be retaken or whether, in this specific case, the learning objective can also be achieved without the compulsory components. Keep students informed via your Canvas page.

Employees/PHD: Travel

VU Amsterdam asks all employees to assess whether a domestic trip is really necessary, and whether it cannot be replaced by an alternative, such as online meetings. If travel is necessary, you must at all times comply with the applicable general government guidelines and any local regulations, both during the trip and at your destination.

Travel is only possible to areas that have positive (green or yellow) travel advice. However, in the context of Corona, there are still many uncertainties that could potentially lead to rapid and unexpected changes in travel advice which can lead to an early return. It is therefore advisable with travel advice yellow to only cross the border if a trip is necessary and cannot be postponed. Students (research, internships, fieldwork, etc.) and researchers who still want to go abroad with code yellow need the approval of their tutor or supervisor. Any costs in the event of cancellation or early return due to a new outbreak will not be reimbursed from central means. For exchange programmes the previously communicated guidelines will continue to apply. 

Employees can contact their supervisor for advice, students can contact the International Office ([email protected]).

See specific information about VU travel policy on VUnet.

It is important to carefully follow RIVM and local guidelines during your holiday. Just before departure, consult the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the specific Q&A of the central government for travel to and from abroad. Some destinations are subject to quarantine regulations upon return to the Netherlands, please keep this in mind. After returning from abroad, we appeal to your own responsibility regarding coming to campus to prevent any possible spread of the coronavirus. At all times: if you suffer from a cold, or a roommate has a fever and/or is cramped, stay at home and do not come to VU Amsterdam.

Employees and students of ACTA and VUmc School of Medical Sciences are subject to the guidelines and information of ACTA and Amsterdam UMC.

More information for international staff and PHD's

All general information for international staff and PhD candidates coming to The Netherlands, and their visa procedures can be found on our general website about working at VU.

For specific inquires please contact [email protected]

For more information regarding IND regulations in the light of COVID-19 crisis please check https://ind.nl/en/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

If you would like to find out whether there are some options for you and your family, or if you would like to extend your stay in the current accommodation, please check the updated website or contact [email protected] .

I am currently in short stay accommodation but want to leave prior to expiry of my contract. What do I need to do?
VU provides options in this case. Please consult Evangelina via [email protected].

I am currently staying in long term accommodation and wish to leave for several months to my home country. What can I do?
VU provides options in this case. Please consult Evangelina via [email protected].

 For more information regarding accommodation options for PhDs visit our PhD website.

I got offered a contract to start working at VU the upcoming months but due to the Corona situation I am not able/comfortable to actually start on the agreed date.
Please, contact your supervisor to verify possibilities to postpone the starting date of your contract, work from home the first period of time, or discuss other options.

I will start as a PhD candidate in September/October 2020, is this indeed the right timing to start?
We are still not sure how the university will be operating in this time so we advise a delayed arrival. Our immigration services will also be overwhelmed so if you are applying for a visa only in July we cannot guarantee that things will ready for September arrival.

What are my possibilities as a PhD (both intern and extern) to extend my contract?
Please, verify with your supervisor what the possibilities are to extend your contract.

New employees
 
Agreements that have already been made with new employees (whether or not from abroad) about entering employment, etc., are valid unless the new employee agrees to changing the agreements made, for instance, postponing the employment start date.
New employees, just like all other VU employees, will work from home as much as possible.
 
Contract termination
The regular processes, such as notifying about the termination of a temporary employment contract and applying for unemployment benefits will continue according to standard procedures. Relevant documentation can be handed in at the security desk in the main building. Please contact your HRM advisor for more information.

We offer various online career coaching opportunities. Please, do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] to verify which support might be relevant for you.

-The International Office organizes a Zoom session for all our international staff once in two weeks. The first meeting was on Wednesday the 15th of April at 10 AM. During these sessions you can share experiences, tell us how you are and ask all sorts of (practical) questions about immigration regulations, accommodation, your contract, etc. If you were not invited, please do not hesitate to contact us via [email protected] and we will invite you accordingly.

-We organize PhD lunches every Thursday where you can engage with other PhD candidates as well as international office PhD advisors and ask questions regarding your travels, accommodation, visa, immigration or generally voice your concerns raised by the corona virus situation. For more information please write to [email protected] or check our Facebook page Your VU-PhD News.

-A number of online workshops and online coaching is also being offered to our international staff and PhDs, and among others:
 a) online career coaching and handling uncertainty by Experiential Insight,
b) communication and negotiation by Margarita Louredo,
c) time management by FACTA.

For more information and application please contact [email protected]

-A sense of purpose in times of corona: discussion sessions
How can we experience a deeper sense of purpose and connection in the midst of the corona crisis? Many of us find purpose in our work, for example. We draw value, inspiration and fulfilment from achieving common goals. But how does that work in the present circumstances? Talking to colleagues via your home computer is not the same as meeting them at the office. Contact with students is also very different. Some aspects of your work may have fallen away altogether.
The sense of connection with others outside your work – another source of fulfilment – is also less natural and evident. You may be alone and feel isolated, or overburdened and frustrated by having to spend so much time cooped up with your family. Cinema, live music and the theatre will not be a source of entertainment and consolation for some time to come.
And then there are the uncertainties and fears, about the health of loved ones for example, or the indefinable, existential threat that can loom larger at times of crisis. All this can raise fundamental questions about what is important in your own life and how we function as a society.
If you feel the need to discuss matters like these, the Faculty of Religion and Theology can help. A team of staff experienced in offering guidance on questions of purpose, connection and fulfilment is available for short conversations on an ad hoc or a regular basis. If you would like to sign up, please contact Hans Alma.

For more information regarding wellbeing and corona please check this VUnet-page

I am an international staff member or PhD student and I suspect I have corona. What to do?
The Dutch basic health insurance covers your health costs in case of the coronavirus. If you take leave and go back to your home country keeping your work contract, the health care costs will be covered in your home country as well.
Keep in mind though that the costs will be reimbursed till the maximum tariff in the Netherlands. Do you have additional health care (aanvullende zorgverzekering) or a travel insurance, they might cover any extra costs.
International staff and PhD candidates with a valid (check the validity!) European Health Insurance Card will have no extra costs in case of falling ill with the coronavirus. Contact your local GP (huisarts) only by phone and they will direct you where you should go. Follow their instructions carefully.

Are you not insured at all and do you suspect you have the coronavirus?
Please contact a GP (huisarts) and if necessary they will refer you. The costs will be sorted out in a later stadium. Primarily you are personally responsible for the costs but if you are to be hospitalized, the hospital might decide to use a government subsidiary for the costs. Of course, the hospital will check first whether you are insured or not.

VU follows the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Nederland Wereldwijd*. International staff  and PhD candidates are strongly advised not to go abroad. PhD candidates, guest researchers and staff who still want to travel for work or study are only allowed to do so after consultation with their manager or study advisor.
*The travel advice of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the coronavirus is currently only available on the Dutch side of the website. Fill in the search bar, under the heading Reisadvies: kies uw bestemming, the country you have visited or will visit. To do so, use the Dutch name of the country in question. You will then be shown a map of the country. On the map you will see the travel advice in green, yellow, orange or red.

I am an international employee or a PhD candidate. Can I travel back to my home country?
We advise that you contact your supervisor and discuss options.
Ultimately, you will decide for yourself whether or not to travel back to your home country. In all cases, we recommend that you look at opportunities to work at home in your home country, and at possible (future) travel restrictions and health care in your home country.
Please note that for many countries there are restrictions on entry and exit. Please refer to the information provided by the country in question.

I have fieldwork planned soon for a region for which the travel advice is not greet. What should I do?
Contact your supervisor and discuss solutions for alternative assignments or courses in order to avoid research and work delays as much as possible.

I am currently in another country or from another country. What to do?
We urge employees and PhD candidates who are temporarily abroad to consider returning to the Netherlands. In doing so, you should consider possible (future) travel restrictions and/or health care facilities in the country in which you are currently residing. Consult with your manager or supervisor if necessary.

My business trip was cancelled due to corona crisis. What should I do?
Members of staff who booked a trip for work and received a voucher or corona voucher when the trip was cancelled are asked to use their voucher to pay for a subsequent business trip if at all possible. For example, a voucher can be used to pay for travel to meet an appointment or attend a conference that is rescheduled for a later date.
If you are unable to take the trip at a later date, ask your travel company to make the voucher out to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In that case, you should give the voucher to your manager so that it can be used to pay for official travel by other members of staff. If the travel company is unwilling to do this, you should ask for a refund, making it clear that your booking was work-related and not for leisure. For instructions on how to repay this amount to VU Amsterdam, please contact the HRM Servicedesk.
The voucher may only be used to pay for business trips which have already been arranged and which have been approved by your manager.

The ARQ Nationaal Psychotrauma Centrum provides some valuable insights about working from home and the challenges you face in this period of time.
People respond in very different ways to the measures taken in the Netherlands as a result of the spread of COVID-19. It is understandable that people experience negative emotions during this time, for example:
•    Worrying about your health and the health of those dear to you
•    Feeling lonely due to the lack of contact with others
•    Feeling restless due to a lack of control
•    Feeling fearful or sad thinking of worst-case scenarios

As these times have an effect on all of us, it is important to take good care of ourselves. Here are some tips to help you do that:
•    Bring structure to your day. Create a new routine and make a planning. Make sure you set reachable goals for every day – this can help you regain a sense of control. Try to sleep at regular times, eat enough and get as much exercise as possible.
•    This unusual situation can cause emotions that aren’t familiar to you. Try to accept the emotions you’re experiencing and give yourself time to understand them. Talk to people who you trust about how you are doing.
•    Reading information about COVID-19 might cause more worries. It can help to set yourself a maximum of 3 times a day (for example) to check the news. When you check the news, only rely on reliable sources like the RIVM.
•    Create distractions. Exercise, watch a movie, read a book etc.
•    Try to stay mentally active (by doing a crossword for example).
•    Stay in contact with your social network.
•    Try to look at the positive sides of the situation. This will help against the feeling of hopelessness.
•    Try to limit smoking and drinking alcohol.

I am a researcher and my research in delayed. What do I do?
Research might be delayed due to the corona crisis. This is understandable. We are currently making an inventory of the bottlenecks and what arrangements we can make across the university (and possibly also nationwide). We hope to be able to provide more information in the week of 30 March.

I am a researcher. What are the consequences for grants and subsidized projects?
The coronavirus also affects grants and subsidised projects. More informationon  Horizon2020 and NWO proposals and projects.


Guest researchers currently in The Netherlands should contact their supervisor for further procedure regarding extending their stay at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and consult [email protected] for any visa related issues.

Incoming guest researchers should consult their receiving supervisor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam about postponing the date of arrival.

A general advice would be to postpone your research visit until more information is available regarding functioning of the university in the next months.

For additional information or support you can contact [email protected]

If you are interested in applying for any of our current vacancies or about to start your employment or PhD at VU please consult workingat.vu.nl.

For additional information related to prospective candidates please send us an email via:
—International academic staff: [email protected]
—PhD candidates: [email protected]

We are accepting PhD applications for non-funded positions via www.vu.nl/phd. For funded positions please check workingat.vu.nl and search for PhD vacancies.

Funding via international funding agencies such as CSC China, LPDP Indonesia, Conicyt Chile, Conacyt Mexico, Colfuturo and Minciencias Colombia, NRF Nuffic programme and others are proceeding accordingly. If there are any questions please contact [email protected].

NOTE: We advise all incoming PhD candidates to plan their arrivals and commencement of their PhD trajectories from end of October or beginning of November 2020. Please consult with your supervisors about what is possible and feasible.

For any additional information, double or joint PhD arrangements and mobility at PhD levels please send an email to [email protected] or contact Sandra Hasanefendic (coordinator for international PhD recruitment).

The aim of VU Support is to identify areas where extra capacity is temporarily required within the university, and where spare capacity may be available. We will then look into whether the supply can be matched with the demand. VU Support will therefore act as a kind of internal recruitment agency to help us all get through these strange times together.

For more information see VUnet.
Whenever possible please also refer to Nuffic website information, Euraxess information and VU news on corona.
[email protected] for PhD related questions and website www.vu.nl/phd

[email protected] for international academic staff (postdoc, assistant, associate and full professor + researchers)

VUnet: Working and corona


VU - HRM Servicedesk
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 020 59 82882
Availability: working days 08.30 - 17.00

Students and employees VUmc School of Medical Sciences

For students and employees of VUmc School of Medical Sciences the guidelines and information on Tulip Intranet apply.

Students and employees ACTA

For students and employees of ACTA the guidelines and information on ACTAnet apply.