Misconduct and Ethics Community call [March 2, 2023]

The March 2, 2023 call for the Misconduct and Ethics community focused on learning more about the role of the ombuds in fostering a healthy research environment in a university setting. For this moderated discussion we learned:

  • What is an ombuds?
  • What does an ombuds do?
  • What does an ombuds not do?
  • How do ombuds mitigate toxic workplace/misconduct in academia?
  • What do your ombuds office structure look like?
  • Do most universities have an ombuds office?
    • If a university does not have an ombuds office, should that be a red flag for a funder?
  • How do ombuds/offices differ from institution to institution?
  • In your experience, is your position/office well-known and utilized as needed by students and faculty?
  • From your perspective, what role do scientific funders play in responding to and preventing toxic workplaces?
  • How can funders work together with universities to address toxic behavior and help our grantees?
  • Are there university resources in addition to the ombuds office that funders can help inform grantees about should they encounter a difficult situation?

Jessica Kuchta-Miller, MA, JD
University Ombuds, Office of the Ombuds
Duke University

Dawn Osborne-Adams, JD
University Ombuds and Director, University Ombuds Office
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill