Grievance Procedure

A. Overview
If a student feels unfairly treated or aggrieved by faculty, staff, or another student, the University offers several avenues to resolve the grievance.  Students’ concerns about unfair treatment are best handled directly with the person responsible for the objectionable action.  If the student is uncomfortable making direct contact with the individual(s) involved, they should contact the advisor or the person in charge of the unit where the action occurred (Biophysics Program Administration or Chair, Lab Department Administration or Chair, Lab Manager, etc).  Many departments and schools/colleges have established specific procedures for handling such situations; check their web pages for more information.  If such procedures exist at the local level, these should be investigated first.  For more information, see the Graduate School Academic Policies and Procedures: Grievances & Appeals at
B. Procedure
Procedures for proper accounting of student grievances within the Biophysics Program:

  • The student is encouraged to speak first with the person toward whom the grievance is directed to see if a situation can be resolved at this level.
  • Should satisfactory resolution not be achieved, the student should contact the Biophysics Office and the Biophysics Program Chair to discuss the grievance.  The program will facilitate problem resolution through informal channels and facilitate any complaints or issues of students.  The first attempt is to help the student informally address the grievance prior to any formal complaint.  Students are also encouraged to talk with their faculty advisor or thesis committee members if appropriate.  University resources for sexual harassment, discrimination, disability accommodations and other related concerns can be found on the UW Office of Equity and Diversity website:
  • Other campus resources include:
  • The Graduate School:
  • McBurney Disability Resource Center:
  • Employee Assistance Office:
  • Ombuds Office:
  • University Health Services:
  • UW Office of  Equity and Diversity:
  • If the issue is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the student can submit the grievance to the Biophysics Office and Biophysics Program Chair in writing, within 60 days of the alleged unfair treatment. 
  • On receipt of a written complaint, a faculty committee will be convened by the Biophysics Program to manage the grievance.  The program faculty committee will obtain a written response from the person toward whom the complaint is directed.  This response will be shared with the person filing the grievance. 
  • The faculty committee will determine a decision regarding the grievance.  The Biophysics Program will report on the action taken by the committee in writing to both the student and the party toward whom the complaint was directed. 
  • At this point, if either party (the student or the person toward whom the grievance is directed) is unsatisfied with the decision of the faculty committee, the party may file a written appeal.  Either party has 10 working days to file a written appeal to the School/College.

The Graduate School has procedures for students wishing to appeal a grievance decision made at the school/college level.  These policies are described in the Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures.: