National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Semester: 2013 Fall

Students: Natalie Jay and Sean Withall

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a component of the Department of Health and Human Services. It is comprised of 27 centers and institutes with a mission “ . . . to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability”. The NIH Office of the Ombudsman, Center for Cooperative Resolution (OO/CCR) is a neutral, independent, and confidential resource providing informal assistance to NIH scientists, administrators, and support staff in addressing work-related issues.

In the fall of 2013, the OO/CCR will begin a pilot Peer Resolution Program (PRP) in 12 of its 27 institutes. The PRP is a two-stage process. The first stage is mediation with an ombudsman. If resolution is not reached, a second stage is offered – an employee may have his/her case heard before a panel of five employees who make a binding decision.

HNMCP students will develop metrics for success in the PRP pilot, design and execute a survey of participants, and design and conduct key personnel and leadership interviews.

Deliverables envisioned:

  • Report of findings, including, but not limited to, suggestions for the program
  • In-person presentation of findings to the Office of the Ombudsman and senior leadership within Human Resources.
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