3. First weeks / IDYST life

3.1. The IDYST Secretariat

This is your main point of contact for all things administrative in the university. The secretariat is usually open all week, with either Sabrina Damiani or Adriano Romano present. Opening times can be found on the IDYST website. For matters relating to finance, you should contact Adriano Romano and for things related to human resources, Sabrina Damiani is your point of contact. As a rule of thumb, if you need help/guidance with anything, it is always a good idea to contact your immediate “hierarchical superior”. This would be:

    1. For PhD students – the thesis supervisor
    2. For research assistants – the person responsible for your research
    3. For PAT researchers – the group leader
    4. For everyone else (i.e. professors) – the Institute director


3.2. IDYST Website

The IDYST website grants you access to the information you would usually require concerning everything in the institute. This includes everything from contact persons for laboratories, Institute news, rules/directives to information about your research or upcoming events. The site is maintained by Adriano Romano.

  • If you would like to transmit information about your research or events please contact Adriano Romano at adriano.romano@unil.ch.
  • Personal website on MyUnil: It is the responsibility of each individual to keep this up to date. The guidelines concerning this can be found on the UNIL Intranet.


3.3. Campus card

The UNIL campus card serves as your ID card and access card to buildings in the university. It is also used as a payment method in cafeterias on the UNIL campuses. As soon as possible after receiving your campus card, please contact the IDYST secretariat (Sabrina Damiani) to obtain access to laboratories and offices/storage rooms that are needed for your work. This can already be done once you arrive at UNIL. Please note that the campus card needs to be validated at the card readers usually at the entrance of the Geopolis building on each side. Also, the campus card needs to be validated weekly to maintain access to the building.


3.4. Sick leave / illness notification

Illness and accidents are governed by the directive 1.28 of the UNIL direction.

  • In the event of sickness/accident, please send an email to or call Sabrina Damiani.
  • If sick for more than 3 days, please supply a medical certificate to Sabrina Damiani.
  • In case of an accident, fill in the form for accident declaration. This can be found on the human resources website - Internal forms - UNIL Human Resources.


3.5. Protection of the health of pregnant or breastfeeding women

Once the employee informs her hierarchical superior of her pregnancy, the superior has to proceed to an evaluation of the working environment of the pregnant woman in order to identify any dangers to which the employee or her child could be exposed. This document and its annex guides the hierarchical superior(s) in doing so.


3.6. Resources in case of workplace harassment

In case an employee of IDYST feels harassed or threatened at his workplace, be it by collaborators of any hierarchical level, she or he will find all the necessary information on the website :

Aide - Help


3.7 Laboratory and fieldwork support

  • Laboratory: For any support or questions related to laboratories, please address Laetitia Monbaron ( laetitia.monbaron@unil.ch )
  • Fieldwork: For technical or logistical questions regarding fieldwork, please address Aurélien Ballu ( aurelien.ballu@unil.ch )


3.8. Economat, letterbox, correspondence

In room 3103, the Institute has provided a stationery depot where you can find all kinds of office accessories such as envelopes, paper, pens, notebooks, markers, folders etc. as well as your personal UNIL letterbox with your name on it.

Letterbox: the post arrives usually after 10am every morning. You can deposit letters to be sent there (every day before 15h). Please note that only official or work-related letters/parcels are sent and paid for by UNIL for staff. All other (personal) mail must have the appropriate stamps in order to be sent from the IDYST mailroom.


3.9. Safety & First aid course

All IDYST staff are required to have undertaken a safety course before using any of the IDYST laboratories. This can be organized with Laetitia Monbaron and/or Micaela Faria upon your resumption at IDYST. This website by the ‘safety, environment and prevention service’ at UNIL (UniSEP) provides important information about safety measures and courses.


3.10. Holidays

All UNIL employees are governed by the general rules of the Canton de Vaud with respect to holidays. The following general rules apply:

  • Employees employed at 100% have 5 weeks of holidays (6 weeks after the age of 60).
  • Holidays can be requested via email to the supervisor (hierarchical superior) at least 4 weeks before the holiday date.
  • If the supervisor (hierarchical superior) approves, the request is validated within max. 1 week and the IDYST secretary responsible (Sabrina Damiani) is notified.
  • In the event that the supervisor refuses the request for holidays, they have to send an email explanation for the rejection with sensible reasons to the employee. In addition, Sabrina Damiani and the Institute director have to be added in copy to this email. If the supervisor in question happens to be the institute director, they have to put the adjunct institute director in copy of the email.
  • In this case of a holiday request refusal, the employee may request a reconsideration by the IDYST director, who takes the final decision.
  • The hierarchical superior may authorize holidays with a shorter delay, on request, but can refuse them without a sensible reason.
  • Professors and MERs (research and teaching assistants) only need to send an email directly to Sabrina Damiani with holiday dates in order to take holidays.
  • The number of holiday days is proportional to the percentage of employment. 100% employment = 25 holiday days / year. 80% employment = 20 holiday days / year.


3.11. Computer hardware

Every member of IDYST is provided with a computer. It may be a laptop or a fixed computer. If you choose a laptop, you have the right to an additional screen and a keyboard.

Employees are responsible for the cost of replacement in the event of damage to or loss of the work laptop due to negligence. Also, the work laptop should not be used for fieldwork. Instead, specific field laptops must be used and these can be reserved by contacting Aurélien Ballu.

All UNIL computers and laptops follow a replacement cycle of 6 years, after which the computer is in principle kept as a fieldwork machine. However, for sustainability reasons it is recommended to keep the existing machine if it is still working properly. Exceptionally and upon demand, users can ask to buy their old machine for private use, particularly PhD students who need it to finish their research project. If an IDYST member leaves before his machine has reached the age of 6 years, his/her machine is added to the IDYST pool of computers.

Purchasing a PC based on a ‘fonds d’état’ (Vaud funding) needs to follow the guidelines of the UNIL ‘Centre Informatique’ (informatics center). Every request for purchase of new equipment should be made via the CI using the form on their webpage - Achats informatiques-Ci UNIL and in collaboration with the supervisor (hierarchical superior).

Important: You can’t ask for refund for a machine you bought on your own, without passing via the CI website!

Smaller hardware (USB key, mouse, keyboard) may be purchased by employees themselves, nevertheless all orders have to be validated by Adriano Romano (finances). The payment for this type of hardware is the responsibility of each professor.


3.12. Small and larger events in IDYST/meeting IDYST people


  • IDYST seminar series on Mondays at 16:15 with external and internal speakers (duration: 1h). These seminars are mandatory for the PhD students.
  • Assistants meetings, assistants whatsapp group (please send an e-mail to one of the representatives at IDYST council prior to your arrival in order to be added to the whatsapp group, e.g. Assiata Traore Dosso, Floriane Tisserand, Pau Wiersma or Nicolas Escoffier)
  • Doctoral days: Every year (usually in the summer half year) IDYST is holding a 2-3 days’ event where PhD students can acquire new general skills, network and get to know better each other’s work. These seminars are mandatory for the PhD students.
  • Sortie hivernale: A 2-days event with 1 day of conferences and discussions on a specific topic, IDYST general assembly and dinner. And a second (optional) day skiing in a swiss ski resort.
  • Sortie estivale”: A one-day event in the region close to UNIL, followed by an IDYST general assembly and dinner. These two sorties are mandatory.