Conflict consultation 

Conflict consultation

The relationship between doctoral candidates and their supervisors is usually very positive and based on trust. However, this does not mean that there will never be situations in which opinions will differ fundamentally, perhaps even so much so that it might be helpful or necessary to consult an external party.

Berlin School of Mind and Brain and RTG 2386: Your Ombudsperson for supervision conflicts

Candidates of the M&B doctoral program and of the RTG 2386 may turn to the M&B Ombudsperson.

Dr. Mareike Bayer

Mareike is a M&B doctoral and postdoctoral alumna and thus knows our graduate school well. Currently, she is a senior postdoctoral researcher at HU Berlin. Talking to Mareike is free and will be treated confidentially.

Help at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Humboldt Graduate School)

To help resolve such issues, regular conflict consultation hours are offered to each doctoral candidate of Humboldt-Universität and also to all doctoral members of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain (even if resgistered at FU or TU Berlin). In this way, serious problems between the doctoral candidate and the supervisor may be resolved early on so that the basis for continuing to work together constructively can be re-established.

These consultation hours are being offered by trained mediators. While they are not members of Humboldt-Universität or Humboldt Graduate School, their professional context is closely connected to the academy. The consultation, or – if required – the following mediatory proceedings are completely confidential. These services are free of charge.

Currently, all meetings take place via telephone or ZOOM. They will not be recorded.

[Where? The consultation hours will be held at Humboldt Graduate School, Luisenstraße 56 on Campus Nord, or – if necessary – they can be held on Campus Adlershof as well.] = Does not apply during shutdown!

There are no fixed dates. Please register, and usually we can arrange an appointment for you within a maximum of one week. With the confirmation of the appointment, we usually provide you with the contact details for the video conference or telephone call.

The counselors are also willing to arrange appointments that take into account your current personal situation. E.g. in the case of childcare, a Zoom session with a child present is also possible, or a Zoom meeting at later hours in the day when the child or children are already asleep.

Humboldt Graduate School (for all M&B doctoral candidates, postdocs or faculty):

For organizational reasons, registration is required, but absolute confidentiality is guaranteed. The registration can be made by e-mail ( or by phone at (HU office) 030 / 2093-89710 or mobile 0172-2357086 (Dr. Regina von Schmeling).

Internal HU: Help for employees of HU

Internal HU: Help in cases of presumed scientific misconduct

There are Ombudspersons at the HU university level and a committee that investigates allegations in this area.
For more information see:

Help at Freie Universität Berlin (Dahlem Research School)

While pursuing your doctoral degree you may experience professional conflicts as well as personal challenges.

Through the Dahlem Research School (DRS), Freie Universität Berlin provides advisory and counseling services to all its members, including doctoral candidates and researchers. Under the link provided below you will find this short overview of possible problems and further information on how to obtain help for each one of them:

  • research misconduct
  • sexual harassment
  • counseling and psychological services
  • other conflicts

Other conflicts covers: problems with supervision, publications, teaching:
For its DRS postdoctoral fellows as well as other doctoral candidates, DRS also offers the opportunity for a first professional conflict coaching session at reduced cost (30 € contribution toward expenses - the Berlin School of Mind and Brain can help with fees). Priority is given to members of DRS doctoral programs - the Berlin School of Mind and Brain is a member program of DRS. To make use of this service, please send a request to with the subject line "conflict coaching" and briefly outline the kind of conflict (supervision, publications, teaching, ....) you are experiencing. The DRS will then connect you with our professional conflict coach.

Should you experience any other kind of conflict that is not covered by the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team of Dahlem Research School at


Help at Charité

Internal, for doctoral candidates at Charite:

Internal, for members of Charité:

Equal opportunity officer (Frauen- und Gleichstellungsbeauftragte):

Help at Technische Universität Berlin (TU-DOC)

Please contact the team responsible for doctoral candidates at TU-DOC:

E-mail:, phone: 030 / 314 29622


TU offers the proMotion training programm / support for doctoral candidates:

TU faculty support:

Help at Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) Quest Center

For doctoral candidates:

For supervisors:


Mobbingberatung Berlin-Brandenburg:
(Head: Frau Monika Hirsch-Sprätz, experience with universities; she is a Dipl. Sozialpädagogin (FH), Supervisorin (DBSH), Mediatorin (BM and, Dozentin and Beraterin for conflict management)

AG (working group) Diversity und Mediation im Mediationszentrum Berlin:

Federal Antidiscrimination Agency

This page last updated on: 10 January 2022

Shortcut to contact persons:

M&B Ombudsperson
Dr. Mareike Bayer

Humboldt Graduate School
Dr. Regina v. Schmeling (Tue, Wed)
Luisenstraße 56, Room 105a (ground floor)
HU office phone: 030 / 2093-89710, mobile phone: 0172 2357086