General Summary/Purpose

Ombudsperson for PhD Students and Postdocs: 

Johns Hopkins seeks an inaugural, university-wide ombudsperson to serve PhD students and postdoctoral fellows of the Johns Hopkins University.  In keeping with the International Ombudsman Association’s Standards of Practice and Code of Conduct, the inaugural ombudsperson is expected to serve as a neutral, independent, informal, and confidential resource for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows across all Johns Hopkins schools, providing confidential assistance, navigation, and coaching on a variety of issues.  These issues might relate to conflicts with mentors, authorship disputes, concerns with educational climate, bullying or harassment issues, or other university-related matters.  The ombudsperson will adhere to the principle of “informality”, meaning that he/she/they is not authorized to participate in any formal investigative or adjudication procedures, nor will the ombudsperson make binding decisions or policy.  Rather, the ombuds will listen to the concern, help the student/fellow understand what university policies exist relevant to the concern and what resources are available, coach or provide options to the student/fellow on ways to approach a potentially difficult conversation, and explain what making a formal complaint in the relevant office would entail.  The ombudsperson will be prepared to discuss with the student/fellow what may be the pros/cons of making formal complaints, how the process works, what possible outcomes may be, and the usual length of the relevant process.  The ombuds will report to the Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education and will be a confidential resource for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows.   

Specific Duties & Responsibilities

  • Listen to and discuss questions, complaints, and concerns; provide answers to questions or help to identify the relevant policies, offices, or individuals who can further assist with the issue.
  • Coach students/fellows in having difficult conversations with others including mentors, other students/fellows, or other JHU affiliates;
  • For situations and issues that could pose potential legal liability, such as discrimination and harassment, assist students/fellows if they desire a confidential resource to consider their options, including whether to pursue a formal complaint;
  • Provide a safe venue for airing and discussing concerns as an alternative or prelude to formal grievance or investigation processes; provide options and creative systemic solutions to concerns;
  • Serve as an impartial facilitator, if desired, between the student/fellow and other JHU affiliate;
  • Track de-identified concerns and complaints by category, division, and demographics for annual reporting purposes to JHU provost and president;
  • Develop policy and practice recommendations for the university or particular units based on any gaps identified related to recurring issues brought to the ombuds;
  • Adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the International Ombudsman Association.

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Experience:  PhD, JD, or equivalent.  Advanced certificate in mediation recommended.  At least five years of relevant experience. Knowledge of higher education and research environments strongly preferred.

Special Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills; ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, with individuals at all levels of the organization.
  • High degree of integrity, discretion, and sense of professionalism.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Ability to display a firm commitment to fairness and respect in the workplace, a genuine desire to promote a supportive climate for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at Johns Hopkins University. 
  • Commitment to providing a safe, inclusive, and non-discriminatory educational and work environment;
  • Ability to manage difficult conversations with firmness, care, and respect.
  • Demonstrated facilitation or mediation, arbitration and/or conflict resolution skills.
  • Mature judgment and a thorough appreciation of and sensitivity to the academic and research environment of the university.

Certifications and Licenses:  Certification in mediation, and/or completed Ombudsman Training 101, 202, given by the International Ombudsman Association.  In some cases, completion of this training may be completed upon hiring.

Classified Title: Ombudsperson  
Working Title: Ombudsperson for PHD Students & Postdocs​​​​​
Role/Level/Range: ACRP/04/MJ 
Starting Salary Range: $129,060 – $177,460; Commensurate with experience
Employee group: Full Time 
Schedule: Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm, Up to 37.5 hrs/ week 
Exempt Status: Exempt   
Location: 01-MD:Homewood Campus 
Department name: 10000005-Provost and Sr VP for Acdmc Affs Off of 
Personnel area: University Administration

The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check.

The following additional provisions may apply depending on which campus you will work.  Your recruiter will advise accordingly.

During the Influenza (“the flu”) season, as a condition of employment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employees who provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care or clinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination or possess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meet this requirement may result in termination of employment.

The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas, laboratories, working with research subjects, or involving community contact requires documentation of immune status against Rubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may include documentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicella vaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratory testing. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases are ordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except for those employees who provide results of blood tests or immunization documentation from their own health care providers. Any vaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no cost in our Occupational Health office.

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