Postdoctoral Scholars/Fellows Procedures and Resources

During the course of their employment at The University of Iowa (UI), Postdoctoral Scholars and Fellows may encounter a problem that would require them to seek advice about how to address it. This document is intended to serve as a guide to UI resources that can be used to meet concerns on a variety of issues related to, for example, research misconduct, discrimination, mental health, and workplace violence. Strategies for addressing a problem may take the form of a confidential consultation as well as informal and formal grievance procedures. Here is a flow chart (PDF) of postdoctoral scholars/fellows procedures and resources.

Confidential Consultation

The Office of the Ombudsperson (external link) is a safe place to talk about any concerns, including but not limited to sexual harassment or misconduct, discrimination, violation of policies, and unethical behavior. This office is a professional, confidential, independent, and neutral resource available to help you informally work through work-place challenges. Strict confidentiality is maintained except when there is a risk of harm to anyone, there is a court order, or they are required by law to disclose information. Ombudsperson Office contact information: C108 Seashore Hall, (319) 335-3608.

Problems Handled by Non-Academic Units

Reporting issues such as research misconduct, harassment, discrimination, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and violence are handled by Non-Academic Units. These issues have their own reporting process (please see below for a list of non-academic unit resources and contact information).

Research Misconduct

Research misconduct is handled by the Research Integrity Officer for the University of Iowa. You can reach the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (external link) at 2660 University Capitol Centre. Please call to make an appointment at (319) 335-2106.

Discrimination and Harassment

If a Postdoctoral Scholar has been discriminated against or harassed based on characteristics listed in the non-discrimination statement in the UI Human Rights Policy, the Postdoctoral Scholar may contact the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (external link). More options are provided in the resource section.

Informal Grievance Options

In order to maintain and promote a fair and productive work environment for all University Postdoctoral Research Scholars and Postdoctoral Research Fellows, the University encourages the active resolution of workplace conflicts. Postdoctoral Scholars/Fellows and supervisors are encouraged to maintain and utilize open communication to promote and maintain a civil and humane workplace. The University also provides a variety of mechanisms to facilitate the management and constructive resolution of conflict situations involving Postdoctoral Scholars/Fellows when workplace conflicts occur.

The University encourages the resolution of conflict at the earliest opportunity or the lowest step in whatever dispute resolution process is used. Both formal procedures and informal conflict resolution mechanisms are provided. Postdoctoral Scholars/Fellows are encouraged to use informal resolution whenever appropriate.

Postdoctoral Scholars/Fellows who have a work-related complaint are encouraged to first attempt informal resolution by discussing the matter with the individual involved and/or the faculty advisor. See below for conflict management resources. If a resolution cannot be reached; the Postdoctoral Scholar/Fellow may initiate a grievance review.

Formal Grievance Process

A grievance review must be filed in good faith (see anti-retaliation policy; http://opsmanual.uiowa.edu/community-policies/anti-retaliation (external link)). Outlined below are procedures designed for all Postdoctoral Scholars/Fellows to assure prompt and impartial review and consideration of concerns and complaints that may arise in their working environment. A Postdoctoral Scholar/Fellow may withdraw the grievance at any point during the process. Grievances that have been withdrawn may not be refiled.

General UI Policies Concerning Postdoctoral Scholars/Fellows: https://gctest.dev.drupal.uiowa.edu/postdoc/home

For formal grievances, please refer to these steps:

Step One:

The Postdoctoral Scholar/Fellow will submit documentation to the Senior HR Representative or departmental/program administrator/executive officer. Please contact your HR representative and the Graduate College for more information. The review must be initiated within ten (10) University business days of discovery of the event causing conflict or within ten (10) University business days following the unsatisfactory conclusion of an informal grievance process. Within ten (10) University business days of receiving the grievance, the reviewing party will meet with the Postdoctoral Scholar/Fellow and will also provide a written decision/response. If additional time for the review is required, the departmental reviewing party will notify the postdoc of the new date by which the decision will be made. If the departmental DEO/Director is directly involved in the issue in question, the Postdoctoral Scholar/Fellow should proceed to Step Two.

Step Two:

If the issue is not resolved at the departmental level, or if the department’s DEO/Director is directly involved in the issue, the Postdoctoral Scholar/Fellow will forward the Grievance Review Form to the administrative unit of their college within ten (10) University business days of the response, and will include documentation of all steps that have already been taken. Within ten (10) University business days of the receipt of the grievance, the head of the major administrative unit, or designee, will meet with the parties involved and review the arguments and facts. Upon completion of the review, not to exceed ten (10) University business days, the collegiate administrator will meet with the grievant and will also provide a written decision/rationale and/or resolution. If additional time for the review is required, the collegiate reviewer will notify all concerned parties of the new date by which the decision will be made.

Step Three:

Either party (postdoc or person/unit that claim is being made against) may appeal the collegiate decision to the Graduate College. Within ten (10) University business days of the collegiate reviewing party decision, the Grievance Review Form will be submitted including documentation of all steps that have been taken. The designee within the Graduate College will review the request, creating a committee if deemed appropriate, and will submit a written response within ten (10) University business days to the party appealing as well as the Postdoctoral Fellow/Scholar’s College. If additional time for the review is required, the designee within the Graduate College will notify all parties of the new date by which the decision will be made.

Step Four:

Either party (postdoc or person/unit that claim is being made against) may appeal the Graduate College decision by submitting a written rationale that details the reasons for the appeal to the Graduate College Dean within ten (10) University business days of the decision. The Graduate College Dean will respond in writing within thirty (30) University business days. If additional time for the review is required, the Graduate College Dean will notify all parties of the new date by which the decision will be made. The Graduate College Dean will make the final institutional decision.

Resources

Police Assistance

Emergency: Dial 911

Non-Emergency:

UI Department of Public Safety – http://police.uiowa.edu/ (external link), 319-335-5022

Iowa City Police – https://icgov.org/city-government/departments-and-divisions/police (external link), 319-356-5275

Coralville Police – http://coralville.org/77/Police (external link), 319-248-1800

Johnson County Sheriff – http://www.johnson-county.com/dept_sheriff.aspx?id=2287 (external link), 319-356-6020

North Liberty Police – http://northlibertyiowa.org/city-services/police-department/ (external link), 319-626-5724

University Heights Police – http://www.uhpolice.org/ (external link), 319-887-6800

Violence/Threat of Violence

Emergency: Dial 911

Non-Emergency:

Faculty and Staff Services – http://hr.uiowa.edu/uieap (external link), 319-335-2085

Threat Assessment Team – http://hr.uiowa.edu/tat (external link), 319-384-2955

UI Department of Public Safety – http://police.uiowa.edu/ (external link), 319-335-5022

Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity – http://diversity.uiowa.edu/office/equal-opportunity-and-diversity (external link), 319-335-0705

Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence and Stalking

To place a report, contact the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator (OSMRC) 319-335-6200 http://osmrc.uiowa.edu/ (external link). For confidential resources, see information below.

Confidential Advocacy and Referrals

Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) – https://rvap.uiowa.edu/ (external link),319-335-6000

Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) – http://www.dvipiowa.org/ (external link),800-373-1043

Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa – http://muawi.org/ (external link), 866-881-4641

Women’s Resource and Action Center – https://wrac.uiowa.edu/ (external link), 319-335-1486

Office of the Ombudsperson – http://www.uiowa.edu/ombuds/ (external link), 319-335-3608

Faculty and Staff Services – http://hr.uiowa.edu/uieap (external link), 319-335-2085

University Counseling Service – https://counseling.studentlife.uiowa.edu/ (external link), 319-335-7294

Medical Assistance

UIHC Emergency Room – https://www.uihealthcare.org/EmergencyDepartment/ (external link), 319-356-2233

Mercy Hospital – http://www.mercyiowacity.org/emergency-care (external link), 319-339-3600

Police Assistance to Make a Criminal Complaint

Emergency: Dial 911

Non-Emergency:

UI Department of Public Safety – http://police.uiowa.edu/ (external link), 319-335-5022

Iowa City Police – https://icgov.org/city-government/departments-and-divisions/police (external link), 319-356-5275

Coralville Police – http://coralville.org/77/Police (external link), 319-248-1800

Johnson County Sheriff – http://www.johnson-county.com/dept_sheriff.aspx?id=2287 (external link), 319-356-6020

North Liberty Police – http://northlibertyiowa.org/city-services/police-department/ (external link), 319-626-5724

University Heights Police – http://www.uhpolice.org/ (external link), 319-887-6800

Research Misconduct

UI Research Integrity Officer – Research Misconduct – http://research.uiowa.edu/researchers/policies-and-compliance/research-misconduct (external link), 319-335-2106

Office of the Ombudsperson

Office of the Ombudsperson– http://www.uiowa.edu/ombuds/ (external link), 319-335-3608. A place to go to talk about any concerns and options.

Mental Health Resources

Faculty and Staff Services– http://hr.uiowa.edu/uieap (external link), 319-335-2085

University Counseling Service – https://counseling.studentlife.uiowa.edu/ (external link), 319-335-7294

Anti-Harassment/Discrimination

Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity – http://diversity.uiowa.edu/office/equal-opportunity-and-diversity (external link), 319-335-0705

Office of the Ombudsperson – http://www.uiowa.edu/ombuds/ (external link), 319-335-3608

Senior HR Representative for the postdoctoral/scholar’s unit

Conflict Management

If the Postdoctoral Scholar/Fellow is able to, they may address the conflict early and directly with the individual(s) involved, and consult with their faculty advisor, departmental administrator/executive officer, or HR Representative.

Conflict Management – www.uiowa.edu/conflictmanagement (external link)

Office of the Ombudsperson – http://www.uiowa.edu/ombuds/ (external link), 319-335-3608

Ethics and Conduct (resources of possible misconduct or violation of UI policy)

Office of the Collegiate Dean for appropriate college – Academic Misconduct

Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity – Discrimination/Harassment – http://diversity.uiowa.edu/office/equal-opportunity-and-diversity (external link), 319-335-0705

Office of Internal Audit – Financial Misconduct – http://www.uiowa.edu/audit/ (external link), 319-335-2871

UI Research Integrity Officer – Research Misconduct – http://research.uiowa.edu/researchers/policies-and-compliance/research-misconduct (external link), 319-335-2106

Events