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Fieldwork: security guidelines

As an employer and hosting institute, Erasmus University Rotterdam has a responsibility for your well-being during your fieldwork abroad, its so-called duty of care. This page explaines the responsibilities you have as a PhD candidate when engaging in fieldwork in in complex, remote and hazardous places.


Handbook

Security guidelines for field research in complex remore and hazardous places

Special attention is asked from those who will do fieldwork in complex, remote, and hazardous places. The Institute of Social Studies (ISS) has published a handbook with security guidelines that everyone travelling to high risk countries should read. Your department might require you to take additional measures before departure: always check with your supervisor.

Download the security guidelines handbook

Hardcopy are available at your departmental secretary office and at the Graduate School office.

Mandeville building
Room T15-33

Non-EUR researchers can fill in this form to order a hard copy of the handbook (€7,-- per hard copy, excluding shipping costs).


Checklist

fieldwork abroad

  • Request for an advance payment for your trip in the Erasmus Employee Self Service (ESS) portal. Do note: travelling abroad for work always requires prior permission from your supervisor.
  • Inform your supervisor and the secretary office of your journey, place of lodging and contact information
  • Enter your emergency number in the ESS portal
    • If you do not have access to the ESS portal, you will have to discuss travel plans, costs, and insurances with their supervisor first. 

How to update your emergency number?

  • Carry with you the 24/7 Erasmus University Rotterdam emergency number 0031 6 4084 7882
  • Ensure you are sufficiently covered by travel insurance (see below for more information) 
  • If you travel to high risk countries, prepare in writing an extensive security plan and explicit managerial permission (see below for more information)
  • Depending on the period of stay abroad, we always advise you to register yourself at the Embassy or Consulate of the Netherlands (and/or that of your home country)
  • Do you have specific questions? Contact the international HR department at hr.international@eur.nl

Search for outgoing staff in myeur.nl for checklists for a short (one day up to a month), temporarily (>1 month and <2 years) or permanent stays abroad.


Safety and Securty Abroad

As an employer and hosting institute, the Erasmus University has a responsibility for your well-being during your business trip, its so-called duty of care. You have certain obligations, such as:

  • Ask your manager for travel permission before departure (and fill in this form)  
  • Leaving your emergency number in ESS-portal / with your secretary;
  • Carry with you the 24/7 available ERASMUS emergency number +31 6 4084 7882;
  • Having some knowledge about the travel insurance that comes with (asking for an advance payment for) your business trip.

People back home may worry if they do not know where you are – which situation is not ideal when something happens abroad. Realize that even though something takes place  >10 kilometers 'down your road', media in The Netherlands will not quickly make that distinction. Keep in touch... 

For Dutch nationals abroad, the Ministry has opened a 24/7 emergency number: +31 247 247 247. Please see the following sites for more information:


Travel insurance provided by the university

The university has a special and rather extensive travel insurance for all employees who travel on a business trip (<180 days) for the university. Please make sure to register your trip before departure, so that you are covered by this EUR insurance. Via de app store and play store you can download the travelapp Hienfeld Go!Opens external that contains handy information and what to do in case of emergency. Select "my info" to create an account. For employees of the EUR and EUR Holding BVs enter the policy number DL261665 (for IHS employees use DL261666) and the four numbers of the postal code 3062.
You can find all information about the insurance as well as the terms and conditions here.

Prepare and be aware

Know where you are going. It's a small world, but differences in daily life, practicalities, behaviour can still be quite different from what you are used to.  

The EUR looks out for its people!

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the main EUR reference for defining the risk of travelling abroad. The classification codeOpens external is in colours, running from green to yellow, orange, and red. In case of travelling to orange countries, you will first need to draft a detailed security plan and obtain explicit written consent from your manager. Then upload all this in the ESS Portal, together with your application for an advanced expenses claim. By submitting this claim you will also automatically be covered by the EUR travel insurance, up to a max. of 180 days. The procedure is similar in case of having to travel to red countries, but you will also have to explain the necessity of your travel/fieldwork to your Dean/Rector. In case of doubt, no permission will be granted.  

Applying for prior travel permission is a requirement in all cases, so that the EUR knows where you will be and may fulfil its duty of care. By registering your travel abroad via the ESS-portal (see information under business trips) this can be done easily.  
Those not having access to the ESS Portal will have to discuss travel plans, costs, and insurances with their manager first. 

Use of laptop and mobile phone abroad

Be aware that some countries are notorious for cyberespionage, meaning that you have to think about the sensitivity of the information that you carry with you on laptop or phone.

By cooperating on a file (powerpoint presentations!) and sending files back and forth it is strongly advised to use strong virus protectors, and sweep your laptop upon return. Read more in the AIVD brochures available in a download.

Doing fieldwork abroad

Special attention is asked from those going to do fieldwork in complex, remote, and hazardous places. The Institute of Social Studies has published security guidelines (see downloads below) that everyone should read. Your department might require you to take additional measures before departure: always check with your supervisor.

Search for business trip abroad in myeur.nl for more information about the app, how to take out travel insurance and the terms and conditions.


Travel advice and safety risks for specific countries

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the main EUR reference for defining the risk of travelling abroad. The classification code is indicated in colours, running from green to yellow, orange, and red. 

  • Green: no special safety risks
  • Yellow: pay attention, safety risks
  • Orange: only necessary trips
  • Red: do not travel
    Due to very serious safety risks, a life-threatening situation can arise for travellers. That is why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises not to travel to this area.

For Dutch nationals abroad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a 24/7 emergency number 0031 247 247 247. Consult the following sites for more information: 

Travel advice is not binding
The care with which the ministry makes travel advice sometimes requires a lot of time. As a result, it is possible that current events are reported in the media, but that you do not yet find them in the travel advice.

The travel advice is not binding. It remains the responsibility of yourself, your travel organization and your supervisor to decide to continue or not to continue a journey.

Prior permission for business trip

  • Travelling abroad for work always requires prior permission from your supervisor.
  • Prior permission for travelling to green/yellow countries can be obtained by applying for an advance and travel insurance via the ESS Portal.
  • In case of travel to orange/red countries, you will first need written consent from your supervisor, and a detailed security plan, that then has to be uploaded in the ESS Portal as well.
  • If you do not have access to the ESS portal, you will have to discuss travel plans, costs, and insurances with their supervisor first. 

Travel permit

EUR takes care of its travellers. If you have to go abroad for work (be it 1 day or 6 months, either in Brussels or Zimbabwe), the EUR will insure your travel. In addition, you may already apply for an advance of max 90% of your expense claims (such as transport, lodging, visa costs, vaccinations advised Erasmus MC’s travel clinicOpens external, etc.). The advance will be transferred into your account within 5 working days: see this page how to have that arranged. 
In this form you will be asked for the ‘colour code’ of each of your destinations, based on the travel risk as perceived by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. See their websiteOpens external with ‘reisadviezen’ and the explanationOpens external about the use of colour codes green, yellow, orange and red (in Dutch only). At the bottom of this page (see downloads) you can find a printable table with advice per colour code how to prepare yourself. Read more about safety abroad.

 

Preventive and repressive measures when travelling abroad

This three-minute video gives you a short introduction to the preventive and repressive measures you can take when travelling abroad.

Search for safety abroad in myeur.nl for more information about this subject.