Role & Ethical Principles

The Ombuds Office operates under four basic standards of practice which make us different from all other university offices and resources:

Independence

The Ombuds Office operates independently and our actions cannot be directed or influenced by the university administration or anyone else.

Impartiality

The Ombuds does not “take sides” and does not serve as an advocate for any one party—be it PhD students, postdocs, faculty, staff or university administration. Instead, we advocate for fair processes, respectful treatment, and equitable policies for Johns Hopkins PhD students and postdocs.

Confidentiality

Interactions with the Ombuds Office are completely off the record, and we will never reveal information that individuals shared with our office unless we have been given express permission to do so. The only exception to this strict rule of confidentiality is if the Ombuds learns that someone is in imminent danger of serious physical harm, if the Ombuds has reason to believe a child has experienced abuse or neglect, or if the office is otherwise legally required to disclose information.

Informality

The Ombuds Office is an informal resource that is totally separate from any formal university process.The Ombuds Office is not meant to replace any existing formal channels for resolving a grievance, but rather to provide a safe space to raise concerns, ask questions and clarify resources and options. Sharing information with the Ombuds Office does not put the university on notice, nor does it trigger any action not approved by you.