Conflicts - PhD
If you should get involved in any conflicts, personal or academic, that have a disruptive effect on your work situation, it is important to be aware of your possibilities and obligations. There are many different kinds of conflicts and how to deal with them depend on the type of conflict. How to approach minor conflicts between you as a PhD-candidate and your supervisor is discussed on the pages concerning supervision.
The most important thing you can do in cases of conflict is to bring the matter up with someone as soon as possible. Whom you contact will depend on the problem and whom you are comfortable discussing the matter with. Possible conversation partners can be your supervisor, Head of Department, HR-person, or someone in the administration at the department or faculty. You may also wish to talk to your employee representative or safety representative depending on the issue. The most important thing is to discuss the matter with someone early on so that the issue can be addressed. Which measures are available will depend on the matter at hand and whether it is covered by laws or regulations.
Externally funded PhD-candidates #
If you are not employed at NTNU, it is still important that you contact NTNU in cases of conflict that disrupt your doctoral work. If the matter is primarily related to your employee relationship, it is sufficient to let NTNU know through the yearly progress report. However, we still recommend that you discuss the matter with your supervisor. If the matter concerns your supervisory relationship, you should look at the pages concerning supervision for advice. If the matter concerns your relationship with NTNU, we recommend that you contact the department or the faculty to discuss the issue and how to proceed.
Code of ethics #
All employees at NTNU are required to follow NTNU’s code of ethics. Here you can find information on impartiality, work environment, research ethics etc. There is also a separate section concerning supervision. Violating NTNU’s code of ethics is a breach of the public trust in our employees. It is therefore important to give notice if you experience any breach of the code.
Harassment and other violations #
Some PhD-candidates may get personally involved in serious matters with unacceptable behaviour such as bullying, sexual harassment and other violations. NTNU wants you to report any such instances so that we can take care of you appropriately and make sure that similar issues do not happen again. If you are unsure of whether you wish to make a formal complaint you can discuss the matter informally with your union representative, Occupational Health Services or Labour Inspection Authority before deciding what to do. If there is reason to suspect that you may have been subject to criminal offences, your leader, colleague, safety representative, and advisor, are required to notify their employer. Regardless, the matter will be handled with respect and discretion.
If you experience or witness matters that amount to possible breach of law and regulations, ethical norms and/or other serious matters that may damage the university or society at large, whistle-blowing may be an option. NTNU has procedures for whistle-blowing and the university has a duty to protect whistle-blowers. According to the Working Environment Act, you have a duty to report if there might be danger to life and health. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can use the safety representative, trade union, HSE department or a lawyer as an intermediary.