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.

To a limited extent the campus is used again, both for (educational) activities and for working. Protocols have been written and are available for various activities. These protocols and an overview of the measures on campus can be read on this page on VUnet. Please read the protocols carefully before coming to campus.

We ask staff and students to follow government guidelines and only come to the VU when really necessary. If your educational activities take place on campus, you are most welcome. Arrangements have been made per department about working on campus.

Work and study at home as much as possible. Keep a meter and a half distance. Avoid crowds. Wash your hands regularly. Stay at home and avoid contact with others if you suffer from a cold. Also stay at home if a roommate has a fever and/or is cramped.

We also point out to students that they should adhere to these rules in their private environment and at study and student gatherings. In addition, there is an overview of measures on campus and information. Information can be found on this page on VUnet.

All events and meetings scheduled befor 1 September at VU Amsterdam have been cancelled or put on hold. With the applicants of events and meetings planned after 1 September, we will see if these can be continued in an adapted or alternative way. Please note: there is very little space at the VU campus and the organisation of our education and research has priority! For new requests, the Congress and Media Center can be contacted. Requests will first be discussed internally and if possible accepted.

Our open days are now offered virtually. Read more about the (online) open days or register directly for our (online) VU Bachelor's Day on 30 and 31 October.

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.

  • If you have symptoms do not come to the VU and get tested as soon as possible. Here you can find more information about testing.
  • Do you have no symptoms, but does a roommate have a fever and/or suffers from shortness of breath, or is a roommate tested positive? Stay at home.

No, did you just come back from vacation and therefore you have to go into home quarantine? Then you are not allowed to come to the VU. After the period of home quarantine you can come again if it is necessary for study or work.

We ask you to register at the main entrance of the buildings. The data that is used to monitor occupancy does not contain any personal data and only relates to numbers at a certain location. For example: On Monday there were 100 people in the main building. You can view the privacy statement on VUnet on this page.

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 to work from home. 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 possibilities to work on campus for employees who cannot work from home due to their personal circumstances (e.g. living situation). Discuss these possibilities with your manager. Always adhere to 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 will remain the norm, unless this is absolutely impossible. For example activities that can only be carried out on campus such as certain research activities or if you cannot work from home due to their personal circumstances. 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 are three options for defence ceremonies from 1 September. 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.

Go to vu.nl/online-education for an overview of available tools, didactical and technical advice and tips and tricks for online teaching. 

VU NT&L, together with LEARN! Academy, AVC, SOZ and  the UB has also arranged for extra hands to help you on your way.

There are 25 so-called teaching studios available for teachers to "record" online education. These studios are equipped with specific equipment and can be used independently. Of course there is available support from AVC should this not be possible. For more information about the educational studios click here.

The educational studios can be reserved via the online application form

As a teacher, check whether there are alternatives and consult with your program director. There are now limited activities available on campus. The faculty determines which activities can take place on campus. Keep students informed via your Canvas page.

Corona virus Infection

If, after a test, you are told that you have tested positive, you should follow the instructions of the GGD carefully. The most important measure is that you go into home isolation. In addition, the GGD will carry out a source and contact examination to find out how and from whom you contracted the infection, and whether you may have infected others. It is important that you cooperate in this. If you have been at VU Amsterdam in the period before the test and/or have had contact on location with (fellow) students/colleagues, please report this during the contact examination. If, according to the GGD, there is a real chance that you have infected others, the GGD will contact these people or ask you to inform them yourself. See the website of the central government for more information.

The national approach to the coronary pandemic stipulates that the GGDs are in charge of the regional approach to Covid-19 infections. They do this in close coordination with RIVM and the Safety Regions. This means that the GGD determines what happens if an infection is detected in a student or employee at VU Amsterdam.

Tested positive
If a student or staff member is tested positive for Covid-19, the GGD conducts a source and contact examination. On the basis of this examination, the GGD determines whether further measures are necessary and, if so, which ones. It may be necessary for persons who have been in close contact with the infected person to go into home quarantine. In that case, the GGD will contact those concerned directly. See the website of the central government for more information.

A Covid-19-infected person is covered by the medical secrecy of GGD doctors. For reasons of privacy, the GGD will therefore not make any announcements to others, unless this is essential to prevent further transmission of the virus. The GGD will therefore not inform fellow students or teachers, or colleagues or supervisors, that someone has tested positive, unless they themselves are at risk of being infected according to the source and contact examinations.

Multiple infections
In the unlikely event of an outbreak in more than one person, it may be necessary to communicate more widely to reach a larger group of potential contacts. In that case, VU Amsterdam will also play a role. The GGD and VU Amsterdam’s internal crisis organisation are in close contact in case this happens. Obviously, all measures are aimed at preventing an outbreak.

It is therefore essential to always follow government guidelines both on campus and outside of campus, such as keeping a six-feet distance or staying home in the event of complaints.

As long as we all abide by these rules, the chance of transmitting an infection remains as small as possible.

Ventilation

VU Amsterdam closely follows the discussion about the possible spread of Corona through ventilation systems in buildings and also receives questions about how the ventilation systems at VU Amsterdam work. There are staff members who have expressed their concerns about this.

We think it is important to explain how the systems work at VU Amsterdam, how the RIVM guidelines are applied and whether additional measures are needed for VU Amsterdam. 
VU Amsterdam takes all possible measures to maximise the use of the ventilation systems in its buildings. We stick to the advice and rules for ventilation in the Buildings Decree and the RIVM instructions, and regularly consult with the GGD.

By adequately following this advice and the guidelines, we do what can be expected of us and contribute to minimising the risk of contamination through ventilation. VU Amsterdam depends on the latest available scientific knowledge about the possible spread of the virus via ventilation. Guarantees that someone is 0% at risk cannot be given. We do, however, follow the RIVM guidelines and the instructions of the GGD closely and adapt our approach quickly in the event of new insights.

Ventilation systems at VU Amsterdam
Our systems comply with the rules for ventilation laid down in the Buildings Decree as well as the RIVM guidelines. Not all our buildings are the same. One building is older than the other; one building is entirely connected to a ventilation system, the other is partially connected to a ventilation system. Laboratories and specific research environments require different ventilation systems (e.g. in combination with fume cupboards) than offices and educational environments.

In our operational management, the systems are adjusted in such a way that the ventilation in the buildings, old and new, is as good as possible. All ventilation systems in our buildings are maintained and checked on their current operation by qualified personnel. The existing ventilation systems are kept up to date and in good condition. This is the responsibility of FCO's property management department. This department takes care of maintenance and operational management using its own technical staff and in cooperation with contract partners. We attach great value to the proper functioning of these systems and carry out additional checks on a daily basis. The systems are also monitored in real time via the building management system.

The ventilation capacity of the installations is set at the same level as if the buildings were 100% in use, even with less intensive use of the campus due to the six-foot rule. This means that we’re using the maximum ventilation capacity; more air is available for fewer people.

There are, however, differences between buildings in the installation design. Not all our buildings are equipped with fully mechanical ventilation systems. Sometimes there is top cooling (top cooling is cooling of max. 2-3 degrees in relation to the outside air), windows that can be opened, or combinations of systems. For example, in the W&N building in the T and U wing and corridor P 4th floor on the south side, there is no or only a limited mechanical ventilation system. There are, however, possibilities to bring in fresh air by opening windows. This also applies to the smaller buildings such as BelleVUe and Filosofenhof. The MF building also has combinations of systems.

One of the topics in the discussion about ventilation is the question to what extent fresh air is used or present air is recirculated. Recirculation is a technique whereby part of the air that is present in the building, which still meets the air quality requirements, is recirculated so that the air treatment installations do not always have to treat 100% of the outside air (such as cooling, heating, dehumidifying).

We have currently set up the installations in such a way that as much fresh outside air as possible is used for ventilation. Recirculation has been switched off. As a result, the extracted air from the buildings is now blown directly outside.

In addition to normal business operations, we start up the buildings' installations two hours before they open and let them run for two hours after the buildings close before switching to night mode (with less ventilation).

Installations often also need recirculation to operate in more extreme weather conditions, from a sustainable energy consumption point of view. If the outside temperature drops, it may not be possible to meet the temperature or humidity standards in all buildings. Even on warmer days, we draw in more warm outside air so that the indoor temperature can be higher than normal.
If situations arise in which this could become a problem, an assessment will be made in consultation with the Operational Crisis Team and the Strategic Policy Team as to whether, and if so what, actions are appropriate. For example, if the temperature in the building becomes too cold or too hot.


In certain (research) rooms, such as labs (e.g. fume cupboards), the cutting room, the MF room and the Human Performance lab at the Medical Faculty, additional or separate requirements already apply in 'normal operations'. These situations already have a different set-up for their environments in terms of ventilation. No additional measures are currently required here.

This information provides an explanation of the measures that VU Amsterdam has taken in the ventilation of its buildings. Property management and the crisis team closely follow the developments, discussions and recommendations of the national government (and RIVM) and, if necessary, take follow-up measures.

We have done everything possible to maintain and adjust the installation properly, given these special circumstances. For further information or specific information in a building or lab, please contact the On-Site Campusteam:[email protected]

Employees/PHD: Travel and quarantine

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.

During your stay in the Netherlands you must follow the rules that have been imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These rules apply to everyone in the Netherlands. We advise you to check this site of the Dutch government regularly as measures may change.

In short:

  • Maintain a distance of 1.5 metres (approx. 2 arm’s lengths) from other people.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Don’t shake hands with others.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Avoid busy places. Leave if you notice it is becoming difficult to keep a distance of 1.5 metres. 
  • Face masks are compulsory in public transport and in busy areas in Amsterdam
  • Self-quarantine is necessary if you travel from certain orange /red areas, please check the information on the website of the Dutch government. 
You might also want to check this page of the Dutch government for instructions.

In order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the Netherlands the Dutch government has decided to implement measures for passengers travelling to the Netherlands from areas with many coronavirus infections by means of a health declaration form and self-quarantine. 

What measures do I need to take before travelling to the Netherlands? 

  • Check the status of the area you are traveling from. We advise you to consult this page regularly for updates. 
  • Students and staff coming from red or orange areas are advised to take extra care two weeks prior to their departure to the Netherlands and avoid (risky) social activities. This includes visiting bars, (departure) parties and large gatherings. Do not travel if you have any symptoms! 
  • Buy/make face-masks to use in public transport/taxi etc. after arriving in the Netherlands. 
  • Fill out and print a health declaration form. You need to show it upon request on the airport. 
  • Apply for a health insurance for your stay in the Netherlands: see the information page about insurance in the Netherlands. If you apply in advance, the insurance will also cover the travel days. 
  • We advise you to bring a valid credit card so that you have access to money as long as you do not have a Dutch bank account. 
  • More information

What should I do when I arrive at the airport in the Netherlands?

  • On the airport maintain a distance of 1,5 meters from others, also at the luggage belt. 
  • At Schiphol airport, a free Covid test is available for passengers from orange/red countries. Be aware that a negative test does not replace the self-quarantine periode. 
  • More information about the COVID-19 rules at the airport

How do I go to my accommodation from the airport or train station? 

  • You will have to arrange your transport to your accommodation yourself. Route descriptions for public transport will be available soon. It is also possible to make a reservation for a taxi in advance.
  • To travel to your accommodation from the airport, you can use a taxi or the public transport. For both, you will need a non-medical face mask. 

Do I need to wear a face mask in the Netherlands? 
When travelling by public transport, taxi, coach or car, you must wear a face-mask. A non-medical face mask that does not have a filter and is made of a material such as cotton is enough. These types of face mask are sold in places like supermarkets and pharmacies. You can also make your own. 

You may not use a scarf, face shield/visor, snood, bandanna, the collar of a jacket, or a non-medical face mask made from a sock, for instance. Gas masks should also not be used. All passengers aged 13 and over are required to wear a non-medical face mask. The fine for not wearing a non- medical face mask is € 95.
Information how to use a non-medical face mask 

As of 5 Augustus wearing facemasks is also mandatory in busy (shopping) parts of Amsterdam: De Kalverstraat, Nieuwendijk, Red light district, Albert Cuypmarket and Plein 40/45. More information

Should I go into self-quarantine?
Staff travelling from red or orange areas need to go in self-quarantine for 10 days after arriving in the Netherlands, check here. Some areas are exempted, please check the following page of the Dutch government for actual information.
It does not matter whether an area has an orange /red travel advice or if this changes during the first weeks after you arrived in the Netherlands. In both cases you must self-quarantine for 10 days after arriving in the Netherlands. If a country has an orange travel advice for reasons other than health, you do not need to self-quarantine. 

What are the general rules for self-quarantine?
The rules on self-quarantine are published here by the Dutch government. 

In short: 

  • We expect you to have to stay in your room for 10 days after arriving in the Netherlands. 
  • Quarantine is also applicable if you tested negative in your home country or short after your arrival in the Netherlands. 
  • During the self-quarantine period do not travel or go to another location in the Netherlands. 
  • You may not return to your country of origin. 
  • You cannot go to a grocery store for food. 
  • If you need medical assistance do not go to your General Practitioner or the hospital, but phone the doctor instead. 
  • Nobody may visit you (except a medical doctor) 
  • You can sit outside if you have a garden or balcony. If you do not develop any symptoms that could be caused by COVID-19, you can end the self-quarantine after 10 days.

How do I get groceries in self-quarantine?
For staff who need to order food or other essentials during quarantine, we created an information sheet on how and where to do so. 

We advise you to try to get in touch with colleagues living in the same area, you can ask your supervisor or the secretary for suggestions. Your colleagues who do not need to do the quarantine period might be willingly to help you with groceries. If you live in one of the University accommodation buildings, we would also advise you to take part in their whatsapp group to get in touch and ask for support if necessary. Be aware to hold on to the COVID rules when you get some help!

Can I go to the municipality to register and get a BSN number during the quarantine time? 
Make sure to plan your appointment at the municipality as soon as your self-quarantine ends. More information

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Can I go to a bank to open a bank account during the quarantine time?
You can not go tot the bank office during quarantine time. But alternative options are possible, check
here

How do I get in contact with the university during the quarantine time?
The HRM Servicedesk and the International Office are open and available for questions. You can contact us via: 

HRM Servicedesk
T 020 598 2882 (on working days from 09.00 – 17.00) 
E [email protected]

International Office
T +31 (0)20 598 2955 (on working days from 09.00 – 17.00)
E [email protected]

What about quarantine if I live in a room with shared facilities?
Phd’s and staff who reserved a room in a building with shared bathroom and shared kitchen, or only a shared kitchen might have challenges with social distancing and keeping with the rules of self-quarantine. Be aware that not all students on your floor will come from orange /red countries, so quarantine will not be necessary for everyone.

However, we ask all staff for their understanding, respect, cooperation and solidarity towards each other and hope that you will find a way all together to make it possible maintain social distancing and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

We advise you to make agreements with your floormates about the following topics:

  • Limit the use of shared spaces as much as possible, so stay in your room!
  • Protect yourself and each other by keeping  1,5 meters distance in common areas
  • Create a WhatsApp group with your flatmates to keep in contact with each other
  • Make schedules for cooking, use of bathroom. The maximum number of people must be restricted so everyone can keep the 1,5 meters distance
  • Check out how you can help each other with groceries
  • Make schedules for cleaning the common areas
  • Use of face-masks in common areas
  • Do not invite colleagues from other flats
  • It is not allowed to organise parties during quarantine time
  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups or eating utensils
  • Follow the general rules on hygiene: wash your hands frequently and cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Check on your flatmates in quarantine and ask if you can help them

I have COVID-19 symptoms, what can I do?
Anyone with complaints related to the COVID-19 virus can call the following telephone numbers for an appointment to be tested between 8.00 AM and 20.00 PM.

  • National number: 0800 – 1202
  • If you are calling from abroad: +31- 850659063

You can only make an appointment if you have one or more symptoms of COVID-19, such as:

  • a stuffy nose
  • a runny nose
  • sneezing
  • a sore throat
  • a cough
  • fever
  • or sudden loss of smell or taste

More information about the COVID-19 testing in general and locations where it is offered.

What are the costs of a COVID-19 test?
Your health insurance will cover the costs of the COVID-19 test. If you did not apply for your insurance before arrival, we advise you to do this as soon as possible. More information

How can I contact a doctor to discuss my medical situation?
In the Netherlands, the General Practitioner (GP) is the first contact in case you need medical assistance. We advise you to register with a General Practitioner as soon as possible after arrival. If you would need medical assistance, the GP is the first to contact. You can choose a GP close to your accommodation, or register at the University General Practice in the VU Medical Centre.

In life- threatening situations always call 112.

I need psychological help, what can I do?

  • You can contact our Occupational Social Worker (staff welfare officer) via [email protected] Further information about the support VU could provide can be found via VUnet (log in with your VUnet-ID)
  • You can contact your GP directly to discuss a referall to a psychologist.
  • You may want to look for an online treatment by a psychologist. There are online treatments available (E-health), and several psychologists offer online treatment. I-practice offers a telephone consultation hour for questions about mental health and COVID-19 (www.ipractice.nl).
  • Another possibility in Amsterdam is InterBeing, a group of international psychologists who are specialized in supporting international students in the Netherlands. They are also offering online sessions.

In case you are already receiving treatment for your issues, or have received treatment before, contact your (previous) therapist or GP.
If you have thoughts about death or suicide, or worry about somebody you know, call 0900-0113, or visit www.113.nl/english for help with suicide prevention 24/7.

More information for international employees/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 information on 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).

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
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