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Leaving Nikhef

Aim: This article gives an overview of the issues you should consider when leaving Nikhef as employee or guest.

Target audience: People leaving Nikhef as employee or guest, and their manager or supervisor.


Before leaving the institute because of retirement, an expiring contract or the end of guest registration, there are various steps to be taken.

Some items need to be returned, such as hardware and keys. There may be data for which ownership needs to be transferred to other people for preservation or further usage, or which the departing person needs to keep elsewhere when their computer account expires. Finally, there may be administrative matters that need to be resolved before the end date of the contract or guest registration.


Your account will remain accessible for one month after the end of your contract or guest status with Nikhef. After that month it will no longer be possible to login to Nikhef computer services or access your Nikhef email.

If you need access after this one month grace period, for example to finish work on an analysis or thesis, you can request a guest registration for a period of 6 or 12 months. To arrange a guest registration, please contact the Personnel department and make sure your manager of group leader supports the request. After the Personnel department has processed the guest registration, the expiration date of your computer account is updated automatically.

Beware: when your contract as employee ends, you will immediately lose access to external services such as SURFdrive and SURFspot, which are only accessible to employees. The one month grace period does not apply to such external services.

Account removal

Some time after your account is terminated, it will be removed and all data from your home directory will be erased. After removal, the account cannot be restored if you would return to Nikhef; instead a new account (with new username) will be created.


You may have used various hardware items provided by Nikhef. Below is indicated what should or may happen with these items:

  • desktop: the CT Helpdesk will pick up the desktop computer from your workspace to erase all data and reinstall it for future use or discard it as electronic waste.
  • laptop: return the laptop to the CT Helpdesk or purchase it for the residual value; contact the CT Helpdesk for a calculation of the residual value.
  • mobile phone: return the mobile phone to the CT Helpdesk or purchase it for the residual value; contact the CT Helpdesk for a calculation of the residual value.
  • tablet: return the tablet to the CT Helpdesk or purchase it for the residual value; contact the CT Helpdesk for a calculation of the residual value.
  • other hardware: keyboards and mice can be left at your desk, contact the CT Helpdesk about hardware.

Note: when a device is purchased from Nikhef, all software for which Nikhef holds the license must be removed from the device.


You will have collected or created data files in various locations, such as in your home directory, project or data directories, the local disk of a laptop or desktop. It is important to think about what should happen to the data: erase them, preserve them for your own use and/or transfer them to your colleague(s) or supervisor. You should discuss with your supervisor/manager which data you have and what should happen with them.

  • erase personal data: your personal data should be erased from Nikhef systems, to protect your privacy. Personal data may include addresses of contacts, pictures, documents etc. Take some time to identify which data are personal data, taking into account the various locations where you may have stored them. Ensure to make a copy of data you want to preserve on a (personal) system that you can access after your computer account expires.
  • transfer relevant data to supervisor/colleague: often the results of your work remain valuable to your colleagues or supervisor. Make sure to discuss with them which data are relevant and where to leave them such that they can also access them. Hint: your home directory is not a good place to leave shared data, use a project directory instead and check that the permissions allow your colleagues to read (or write) the directories and files.
  • email: email is highly personal and you may want to keep a copy for later reference after your Nikhef account has expired. Mail clients enable to export or archive mails, to import in another (local) mail client on a personal laptop or in your personal mailbox outside Nikhef.


To access the Nikhef buildings, offices and the parking lot, you may have received keys and an access pass or device ('druppel'). These keys and pass/token are registered on your name and contain access to rooms that are specific for you. They may be connected to your account for use with printers. Therefore, it is mandatory that you or a colleague returns your keys and pass/token to the secretariat, so that they can be cleared from your data and can be prepared for re-use by someone else.


When you leave Nikhef as employee, access to the financial system UBW is terminated when your contract ends. Make sure to submit any (travel) declarations well before this date, to avoid being locked out of the system.