NIH Intramural Program Procedures

The informal conflict resolution option in the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) allows you to talk with your immediate Lab or Branch Chief or to a higher level of management, for example, your Scientific Director (SD) or IC Director, or your IC’s ethics officer–lwithout fear of retaliation. You may also approach the NIH Ombudsman or be referred to the Ombuds Office by anyone in your IC, including the SD.

If these informal processes are not successful within 60 calendar days:

Step 1

  • You may formally present your concerns in writing to your Institute SD.
  • The SD then reviews the issues and renders a decision within 60 calendar days of receiving the complaint.

Step 2

  • The NIH Deputy Director for Intramural Research (DDIR) will consider an appeal of an initial decision when a) it is based on errors in fact; b) new information is received; c) a conflict of interest existed in Step 1; or d) the decision contradicts NIH policy.
  • The DDIR issues a formal decision after 60 days after agreeing to reconsideration. This decision is final.

Issues Covered

  • Tenure/ Promotion/ Scientific Review Decisions
  • Authorship
  • Mentoring
  • Intellectual or Physical Property

Employees Covered

  • Any NIH intramural staff, including fellows and students

Contact Information

For detailed information about NIH IRP conflict resolution procedures, contact your Lab Chief or Scientific Director, go to the Intramural Research Sourcebook on the web at, or go to the IRP website at