Office of the Ombudsman

Confidential - Neutral - Independent - Informal


Ombudsmen are trained professionals with a knowledge of group processes.  Ombudsmen often work proactively with groups to help them achieve desired goals, such as improving communication and functionality. 

Group Facilitations

Facilitation by a neutral thrd party such as an ombudsman can include group problem-solving, structured dialogue, and meeting management to assist groups in achieving their desired outcomes. 

Group Conflict Resolution

Ombudsmen are available to assist groups in a variety of ways. In addition to helping groups address overt problems, ombudsmen often help groups evaluate how group members engage with each other, and whether norms may contribute to non-productive outcomes.

  • - Group process design
  • - Group conflict interventions

Scientific Collaborations and Scientific Team Conflicts

Ombudsmen are available to work with scientific groups and trans-disciplinary teams, assisting them in creating collaborative partnerships.

  • - Team science
  • - Lab and partnering agreements

Workshops and Presentations

Our ombudsmen are experienced trainers who can provide groups with an interactive opportunity to learn, reflect, practice and build skills.  We are available to develop workshops tailored to your goals and needs.  Methods often include lecture, group discussion, exercises, case studies, skits, role-plays, self-assessments, multimedia and more.

We conduct workshops for the NIH scientific and administrative communities.  A list of some common training topics includes:

 - Active Listening

 - Change Management

 - Conflict Management & Resolution

 - Conflict Styles & Approaches

 - Cultural Conflict & Communication

 - Difficult Conversations

 - Diversity & Inequity

 - Email Communication

 - Emotional Intelligence

 - Giving & Receiving Feedback

 - Implicit Bias

 - Interest-Based Negotiation

 - Interpersonal Communication

 - Meeting Facilitation

 - Respectful Workplace

 - Retreat Facilitation

 - Team Building

 - Team Effectiveness

We also offer brief introductory presentations to describe our office and the services we provide to the NIH community. 

Organizational Consultations

Ombudsmen are sometimes available to help organizations and large groups work through the process of change, transition and growth.  

Systemic Interventions

Ombudsmen are able to identity systemic issues that negatively affect our visitors and the NIH community;  we also provide systemic interventions and feedback to upper management.