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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.


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).


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

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

Travel insurance provided by the university

The university has an extensive travel insurance for all employees who travel on a business trip for the university. Please make sure to register your trip before departure, so that you are covered by this EUR insurance. 

Via de Apple app store and Google play store you can download the travel and insurance app Hienfeld Go! which also contains handy information and what to do in case of emergency. 

Search for business trip abroad in 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. 

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 for more information about this subject.