Support and contact persons

At CAPHRI we are committed to supporting you throughout your entire PhD journey. We have built a strong support system for PhD candidates. In case of questions or experienced difficulties, there is always someone there for you:

PhD Administrative Coordinator

Chantal Claessens is our PhD Administrative Coordinator. She is the principal point of contact for all CAPHRI PhD candidates and handles most PhD-related administrative tasks. You can contact her for information and support in case of questions of any kind related to your PhD trajectory, including Track issues. 

PhD Community Coordinator

Francine Schneider is our PhD Community Coordinator. Her role is to enhance an attractive environment that fosters connection within our CAPHRI PhD community. She welcomes new PhD candidates and organizes (social) events for the PhD community, in collaboration with the PHD representatives. Besides, she is responsible for the further development of our CAPHRI PhD programme, PhD policy and PhD course portfolio and she monitors the quality and progress of PhD projects and the quality of the supervision. Francine functions as a link between the PhD candidates and the School. Therefore, she participates in regular meetings with the PhD representatives and the PhD Panel. She also represents the School in Faculty PhD Committee (FPC), and the UM-wide PhD coordinators meetings.

PhD representatives

CAPHRI has five PhD representatives: Diogo Lopes Leao, Quincy Merx, Chrissy Moonen, Giselle Menting and Esther van Santbrink. The CAPHRI PhD representatives represent the interests of all PhD candidates in our institutes. In addition, they also organize formal and informal events for all CAPHRI PhD candidates to join and they communicate important information to our PhD community. They discuss this with the CAPHRI Board in the Plenary PhD Meeting (PPM) every three months.

In the monthly CAPHRI PhD POST, the PhD representatives provide information about relevant matters, upcoming courses, (social) activities and events of CAPHRI and of other organisations for PhDs. Several times a year, they organise several meetings for PhD candidates and postdocs.

Diogo also represents CAPHRI in the FHML PhD committee (FPC) where the 6 Schools and 2 Institutes of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences meet every six weeks, and is FHML representative in the Central PhD Candidates Platform (CPCP) of Maastricht University.

If you have any questions or issues that you would like to raise with the PhD representatives, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Information received from you will be treated with discretion and confidentiality.

You can contact the PhD representatives directly (see below) or via:

Care representative

Research school CaRe (The Netherlands Schools of Public Health and Care Research) is a collaborative between four research institutes: APH (Amsterdam Public Health), Nivel in Utrecht, RIHS (Radboud Institute for Health Sciences in Nijmegen) and CAPHRI (Care and Public Health Research Institute in Maastricht). The mission of CaRe is to contribute to better health and better healthcare through high-quality research, training of young researchers in the field, and multidisciplinary cooperation between the four research institutes to develop and implement relevant scientific knowledge.

A core activity for PhD students within the CaRe institutes, concerns the annual ‘CaRe Days’ event. Here, PhDs from the different institutes get the opportunity to network and share knowledge with their peers in the field. It is an excellent opportunity for young and/or early-career researchers to meet, to get to know each other and to present their own work in an informal setting. Moreover, the event hosts inspiring (senior) speakers and offers parallel sessions on wide-ranging topics. 

CAPHRI's PhD representative within CaRe is Diogo Lopes Leao (

Go to the CaRe website

PhD confidential advisors

In case you are confronted with problems that may hinder the performance of your PhD project, you can contact our confidential advisors Milena Pavlova (Dept. Health Services Research) or Inge Houkes (Dept. Social Medicine) for advice and support. You can contact them for example when there are conflicts in the relationship with you supervisors, when you are confronted with undesirable or unacceptable behavior (sexual harassment, bullying, or discrimination) or complaints concerning scientific integrity. The confidential advisors are available for all types of PhD candidates, also those not employed at FHML or MUMC+.

Our confidential advisors are there to provide a listening ear, to clarify your problem and, if you so wish, to provide advice and support in solving the issue. If necessary, they can advise and assist in any further steps to be taken. The confidential advisors act as independent entities and observe strict confidentiality in all matters that you discuss with him or her. No action will be taken without your explicit permission. Read more about what the confidential advisors can do for you here

Besides our CAPHRI confidential advisors, you can also contact FHML/MUMC+ confidential advisor Maria Jansen ( PhD candidates who encounter questions or problems they would like to discuss with someone entirely separate from the research institute or department they work can contact Maria. You can also contact a confidential advisor of the Concerns & Complaints Point of Maastricht University. 

Not sure who to turn to? 
May be the roadmap for scientific integrity and social safety for PhD candidates can help you. The roadmap provides directions on how to act and who to turn to in case of questions related to potential data breaches, scientific integrity, impartiality, and social safety. By clicking on the links in the roadmaps you will be directed to the website which contains more information about the contact person and/or the procedure. You are invited to speak up about such issues and act when appropriate.

HR advisors

Each PhD candidate with a UM or MUMC+ employment contract can consult their HR advisor about employment conditions (bicycle scheme, leave, illness, mobility and legislation etc.. To find the names of FHML HR advisors go the intranet and click here. More information on employment conditions can also be found on the intranet; here.

FHML Research Office

The Research Office is your first contact for research support. They assist you when looking for funding, talent development or strategic collaboration opportunities. They are your interface to research-related information and protocols, and connect you to the services you need, either within or outside Maastricht UMC+/UM.

The Grants Office is part of the Research Office and provides information on grant opportunities. In addition, the Grants Office can support you in developing, writing and editing your grant proposal. If you have questions you can contact CAPHRI’s Funding Advisor Vivian Braeken.

Go to the FHML Research Office website 

Mental well-being during your PhD

Doing a PhD is an exciting journey, but can at times be challenging and/or stressful. At CAPHRI you are not doing a PhD alone, you are embedded in a larger academic community. In case you are experiencing any problems, minor or major, we think talking to someone about it is an important first step. There is no easy fix, and while there are resources at CAPHRI and Maastricht University available to PhD candidates, we realise it may be difficult to find out where to look. Therefore, we have assembled resources that focus on mental well-being on our webpage.

Go to our website on mental well-being during your PhD

CAPHRI community


Online CAPHRI PhD Community

At the start of your PhD trajectory, you will be added to the CAPHRI PhD Community on the UM intranet (UMployee), a virtual environment specifically for our PhDs, with announcements, news and the possibility to come into contact with other CAPHRI PhDs around the world or ask questions to the PhD representatives, the PhD Administrative Coordinator or the PhD Community Coordinator.

This is the link to UMployee (please beware that you can only log in with your Maastricht University email address):

To quickly find your way around the intranet, manuals have been created. You can find them in the About UMployee tile (log in to intranet first)


You will receive a monthly CAPHRI PhD POST, written by the PhD representatives. This newsletter contains information for PhD candidates on meetings, courses and other relevant items.

CAPHRI also issues a general CAPHRI newsletter for all CAPHRI staff, with interviews, information on events, courses, awards and projects of your fellow CAPHRI researchers.

3 times a year you will receive a CAPHRI Funding Alert, which presents important upcoming open calls. We bring this to your attention to write on these grants.

Website and social media

On our website ( you can also find information on CAPHRI research projects, news and events and of course you are invited to follow us on LinkedIn, X (@CAPHRI_UM) and Instagram (@CAPHRI_UM).

screen CAPHRI website