To do:

The road towards getting your PhD is not always an easy one. But you don’t have to go it alone! The PhD advisors at the Doctoral School are there to help you with problems regarding time management, supervision, loneliness, stress, insecurities… basically any problem that may occur during your PhD. If indicated, the PhD advisor will refer the PhD candidate to other authorities, such as the Amsterdam UMC Scientific Research Counsellor, a mediator or an external confidential counsellor. Our PhD advisors Jordi and Mandy both have a PhD and a training in coaching. In one or more sessions they will use their experience to give you tools to tackle your problems. Contact them by sending an email to

Jordi Cabanas-Danés: “During my career as PhD candidate and later as postdoctoral fellow, I have always been interested in the persons behind the researchers, and what are the challenges they need to overcome. After completing my training as coach in 2019 I decided to join the Doctoral School as PhD advisor. During conversations my approach begins with genuinely listening and connecting in an accessible yet safe environment. Once your objective is clear, I will guide you further to discover your own unique tools to cross the bridge towards solutions.”

Mandy X. Hu: “I completed both my PhD and coach training in 2018. As a PhD advisor I can do what I love (consulting and coaching) and work with the people with whom I have affinity (PhD candidates). During conversations my strategy is to dig to the core of the problem, increase awareness, and empower to make authentic choices. In this way, I believe, not only the quality of the PhD trajectory may improve, but the quality of other aspects of life - not in the least, the relationship with yourself :)”

Necessary documents:

Not applicable


  • Confidential counsellor:

    Fenneke Blom is the confidential counsellor (vertrouwenspersoon) specifically for PhD candidates for issues related to undesirable behavior at the workplace (such as bullying, verbal or physical violence, discrimination etc.) and general integrity issues. You can e-mail directly or be referred by the PhD Candidate Advisor

  • Occupational health service:

    For problems regarding occupational health and absenteeism counselling contact the occupational health service at the Amsterdam UMC/UvAor Amsterdam UMC/VU)

  • Psychological support:

    When experiencing mental health issues, you can seek corporate social help at the Amsterdam UMC or psychological help at the VU or the UvA

  • Peer to peer group coaching

    Sometimes you would like to discuss something with a peer. However, it might be difficult to discuss this with your direct colleagues as e.g., they may be involved. Peer to peer group coaching (which is called intervisie in Dutch) is a way to discuss these issues in a safe environment within a small group of PhD candidates (read blog 9: The power of peer coacing). Click here to register!

  • ASAP

    ASAP is a platform created for and by PhD candidates at the Amsterdam UMC. ASAP represents PhDs at the Amsterdam UMC and organizes a broad spectrum of social and informative events