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Social Safety

As a member of our staff, the University of Amsterdam would like to provide you with a safe foundation and a positive environment. We hope you never experience an unsafe situation or undesirable behavior at the UvA, but should this occur there are different individuals and institutions you can turn to. The overview below shows you the way. Depending on the circumstances, you may want to discuss an undesirable situation with a manager or supervisor first. If, for whatever reason, this is not possible, you can use one of the other options listed here. When you talk to someone they may also refer you to these options. Anything you report will be treated in the strictest confidence. For the most up-to-date information go to

If you have experienced or are experiencing undesirable  behaviour (such as sexual intimidation, aggressive or violent behaviour, bullying and discrimination) you can contact one of the confidential advisers for undesirable behaviour. They can provide support and help look for a way to stop or de-escalate the undesirable situation. Where relevant they will refer you to professional care and assistance. They can also help you submit a claim to the Complaints Committee.

The ombudsperson is an independent figure you can contact when you encounter structural problems and injustices within the UvA. You can do so confidentially and without formalities. If the Ombudsperson considers it necessary, they can mediate between parties and/or carry out an independent investigation.

If you suspect something is wrong which has major societal or institutional repercussions, you may report this internally or externally in accordance with the Whistleblower Scheme (Klokkenluidersregeling). This could concern matters such as criminal offences, impending criminal offences, rule-breaking, dangers to public health, safety or the environment, or wasting public funds.

Code of Conduct

Besides physical safety, the institute aims to be a place where colleagues treat each other fairly and respectfully, and give due credit for achievements to those who truly made them. Scientific integrity is an important part of the education of scientists. HIMS has an open culture where it is common that any potential ethical issue is being discussed as soon as it is encountered. The HIMS guidelines attempts to discuss a number of issues and suggests best practices and actions regarding reporting and storing results, fraud and plagiarism, conflicts of interest and other ethical aspects. Our Code of Conduct can be found here.

Lab safety

Working in chemical- or laser laboratories requires safety precautions and strict rules. The FNWI personnel department heads over the safety regulations to all new employees. Within HIMS Norbert Geels takes care of laboratory safety. Please contact him in case you did not receive the rules or have any questions regarding safety.

Each experimental group has its own additional safety protocol and organizes its own safety training before you are allowed to do experiments. Below the basic HIMS lab rules are mentioned. The complete document with safety regulations are attached as an appendix to this brochure. Take your time to read these carefully.


Basic safety rules for the HIMS laboratories

  1. In case of an emergency call 2222.
  2. During a fire alarm you need to go to the meeting point in front of the Universum Sportscenter.
  3. In case of a gas alarm, exit the lab, offices, and hallway, and go through the nearest fire doors.
  4. Wear safety goggles in the laboratory. Lab coats are mandatory in most labs.
  5. Take proper precautions before and during experiments.
  • Use proper personal safety measures (e.g. gloves, goggles, lab coats) when working in the lab.
  • When using gloves: in the hallway use one glove on the hand with the transport bucket with chemicals, use your glove free hand to open the doors. Lab coats and glasses are necessary during transport.
  • Protect your skin from chemical exposure.
  • Chemical experiments must be carried out in the fume hood.
  1. When transporting liquid nitrogen:
  • Do not step into the elevator with the tank.
  • Make sure that others do not enter the elevator with the tank.
  1. No food or drinks in the laboratory.
  2. Never work alone in the laboratory.
  3. Take notice of signs. For example: Do not enter a laser lab when the 'LASER ON' sign is lit.
  4. Make sure that you are able to hear alarms at all times. Use of headphones is prohibited in the labs.
  5. Store and label chemicals and samples properly. At the end of the day make sure that all chemicals are returned to their original storage location.
  • Keep Lab Servant up to date.
  1. Make sure your waste management is correct.
  2. When in doubt about operating equipment, experimental procedures etc.: ask the responsible person or your supervisor.
  3. General Safety is your safety, discuss safety with colleagues. And report both incidents as near-incidents.

All research groups have additional safety rules, before working or visiting, make sure you get