All members of the VDP, especially its Steering Committee, are responsible for actively developing a working atmosphere free from racism, harassment, or any form of discrimination or intolerance. Recognizing that these are structural problems, the doctoral school offers its members various official and unofficial channels to communicate them so that they can be duly heard and adequately addressed. 



All VDP members are responsible for active consent to the Code of Conduct of the University of Vienna* and the Code of Good Practice for Doctoral Schools**. Crucially, the §3 of the first code, Relations between members of the University of Vienna, indicates the following: 

  • The University of Vienna conceives itself as a community of all its members: individuals of different age and sex, of different social and geographic origin, shaped by different situations in life and by different experiences, world views, and abilities.
  • Hence any dealings between members of the University shall be marked by mutual respect and esteem. Intolerance, discriminating or offensive behaviour, or favouritism, will not in any way be accepted at the University of Vienna; this also applies to third parties.
  • Sexual harassment and mobbing of any kind are incompatible with the principle of mutual respect in interpersonal relations; they shall therefore not in any way be tolerated at the University of Vienna, and may prompt sanctions under criminal or labour law. In particular, in relationships of dependency (e.g., executive/staff, teacher/student), it is of the utmost importance to keep an appropriate distance.

The VDP provides all their members with official and unofficial points of contact to mediate and provide support in a confidential manner with issues involving

  • Violations of the Code of Good Practice (2, a-n; 3, a-j), including conflicts in supervisor-supervisee relationships (see video on Supervising and Being Supervised)
  • Violations of the Code of Conduct of the University of Vienna, including cases of harassment (see the University of Vienna brochures on Sexual Harassment and how to combat it), discriminatory or racist behavior.
  • Potential issues that are not listed above will also be taken seriously.

* ** Serious or repeated violations of the above codes will be investigated and may result in termination of the VDP membership (see the Protocol for Revoking a Membership). Further disciplinary measures may also be taken by the University.