Attachment A to Research Policy Handbook 9.4,
Date: November 26, 2001
This procedure applies to all postdoctoral scholars at Stanford University, including those at Stanford University School of Medicine.
This policy outlines formal procedures for resolving both academic and non-academic grievances of postdoctoral scholars at Stanford. This grievance procedure is designed to supplement, not to replace, the routine and informal methods of responding to and remedying postdoctoral scholars' problems and complaints.
It is desirable for all parties concerned to make serious attempts to resolve disputes informally. This is particularly true for disputes that occur in a relationship of great importance, such as that between a postdoctoral scholar and mentor. There are many resources available to assist postdoctoral scholars in the informal resolution of problems. Confidential resources include: the Medical School and University Ombudspersons, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Office of Religious Life. Other helpful resources are the Stanford University PostDocs (SUPD), the Postdoctoral Affairs Office, and the WorkLife Office. Further information about these resources is available on the Stanford Website. Postdoctoral Scholars are also encouraged to consult with trusted faculty, if helpful and appropriate.
Any Stanford postdoctoral scholar who believes that he or she has been subjected to an improper decision by Stanford University, or by anyone acting officially on behalf of Stanford University, may file a grievance to obtain an independent review of the decision, and, if appropriate, corrective action. A grievance is a written complaint made to an administrative officer of the University concerning such a decision. The following grievance procedure applies to decisions that directly and adversely affect the postdoctoral scholar. The grievance procedure is not available to challenge a University policy perceived to be unfair or inadvisable or contest policies of an individual school, department or program of the University, unless such policies are inconsistent with University policy.
The steps to be followed in filing a grievance are described below. At every stage, the postdoctoral scholar may discontinue the grievance procedure if he or she feels that the conflict has been resolved successfully.
- Discussion between the parties directly involved in the dispute where appropriate.
- Assessment of informal means available to assist the postdoctoral scholar in resolving the problem. At this stage, the postdoctoral scholar is encouraged to consult with any individuals with whom he or she feels comfortable discussing the matter. This may include parties directly involved, as well as any of the informal resources listed above.
- Consultation by the postdoctoral scholar with the program director, division chief or department chair, as appropriate, to discuss the dispute.
- If these steps do not yield a satisfactory resolution, the postdoctoral scholar may then file a formal grievance in writing to the dean of the relevant school, or to the Dean of Research for those programs not within a school. The grievance should be submitted in writing within 90 days of the decision that is the subject of the grievance. A delay in the filing of the grievance may constitute grounds for rejection of the grievance, although individual circumstances may be taken into account. The grievance document should include a description of the decision in dispute, and the reasons why the grievant believes the decision was improper. The grievance document should also include a description of the remedy sought and the informal efforts that have been pursued.
- SELECTION OF GRIEVANCE OFFICER(S)
The dean may select one or more "grievance officers" to consider the grievance and report to the dean as the dean directs. The parties will be consulted regarding the appropriateness of potential grievance officers. The grievance officer(s) will investigate the matters relevant to the grievance in light of the Standards for Review outlined below and provide a recommendation to the dean. The dean or grievance officer(s) may request a response to the issues raised from any individuals believed to have relevant information, including faculty, staff, students and postdoctoral scholars.
- RESPONSE TO THE GRIEVANCE
The dean will inform the parties to the dispute in writing of his or her decision and the reasons for the decision, generally within 60 days of the filing of the grievance.
- FILING AN APPEAL
- APPEAL PROVISIONS
If the grievant feels that the decision of the dean is inappropriate for substantive or procedural reasons, he or she may, within 30 days, file a written appeal with the Provost specifying those reasons. New issues should not be raised at this stage, and general dissatisfaction with the dean's decision is not sufficient reason to appeal. The Provost may select one or more "grievance appeal officers" to consider the grievance and report to the Provost as the latter directs.
- RESPONSE FROM THE PROVOST
The Provost will notify all parties to the grievance in writing of his or her decision and the grounds for the decision, generally within 45 days after the receipt of the appeal.
- REQUEST TO THE PRESIDENT
If the postdoctoral scholar is dissatisfied with the disposition of the appeal by the Provost, he or she may write to the President of the University giving reasons why he or she believes the grievance result to be wrong (following the general format set forth above). No more than thirty days should elapse between the transmittal of the Provost's disposition and the grievant's written statement to the President. The President may agree or decline to entertain the further appeal. If the President declines to entertain the further appeal, the decision of the Provost shall be final. If the President decides to entertain further appeal, he or she shall follow the general procedures described above for the Provost, and the decision of the President shall be final.