NIH Employee Resources

Resources for Non-Supervisory Employees

The Office of the Ombudsman is a confidential, neutral resource for NIH employees providing informal assistance in addressing workplace-related issues.


Our office provides assistance in many types of conflicts, including difficult interpersonal situations, performance appraisals, harassment, and other types of workplace concerns. Our staff members help people express their concerns, resolve disputes, manage conflicts, and learn more productive ways of communicating. We will discuss various options with you and assist you in obtaining the information and resources needed to address your concerns. Our office does not serve as an advocate for employees or managers; rather we offer collaborative services, including coaching and facilitation, to encourage better communication and promote early problem resolution in the workplace. All of our services are offered on a voluntary basis; thus we cannot require anyone to engage even if employees might wish that a supervisor or peer would participate in a conflict resolution process.


Our office does not serve as an advocate for employees or supervisors, and all services are offered on a voluntary basis. Your communication with our office will be kept confidential, including the fact that you contacted our office. Because of the nature of our work, employees are not required to reveal their visit to our office with anyone, including supervisors. We will not take action or employ conflict resolution practices without the approval of the person visiting our office.

We also identify systemic conflicts, bringing to management’s attention those practices, norms, policies, and aspects of NIH culture that appear to exacerbate tensions and create problems for fellows, scientists and administrative staff. By highlighting these systemic issues and providing suggestions for addressing them, ombudsmen help institutions take steps to improve the work environment across multiple layers of the organization.

We can also help clarify NIH policies and procedures and how they apply to you, as well as provide information on other NIH resources for employees, including the Employee Assistance Program and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management.