Office of the Ombudsman

Confidential - Neutral - Independent - Informal



When members of the community experience interpersonal problems, ombudsmen are able to help those involved engage their issues in a collaborative and constructive manner.  Using skills such as active listening and reframing, ombudsmen employ different methods to help visitors arrive at a shared understanding of the issues.

Facilitated Discussion

A facilitated discussion / mediation is a process of assisted negotiation where individuals work to understand each other and resolve their differences with the assistance of a neutral third party, i.e, an ombudsman.  In a facilitated discussion individuals are encouraged to hear one another and consider the other person’s perspective as well as one’s own.

Shuttle Diplomacy

Ombudsmen usually encourage those with interpersonal concerns to engage one another directly (sometimes with the help of an ombudsman) to find collaborative resolutions to their problems.   There are some instances, however, wherein ombudsmen may attempt to resolve a concern by shuttling information between visitors who are not able to engage each other directly.

Interpersonal Scientific Conflicts and Collaborations

Ombudsmen are available to assist investigators, fellows, clinicians, SDs, and all scientific personnel who experience interpersonal concerns that impact their work environment, research, and professional relationships.  We work proactively with visitors to collaboratively identify potential lab and authorship issues before they present themselves, helping visitors create joint understandings on how to address concerns before they present themselves.  We also help scientists and clinicians to problem-solve and address current concerns.

  • - Authorship Disputes
  • - Partnering Agreements
  • - Fellow, Investigator and/or peer conflicts