If a student feels unfairly treated by the advisor, another faculty, staff, or another student, the Program offers the following strategies to resolve the issue. Grievances can be placed into two general categories; those with another student, staff, or other faculty (type 1), and those with the Advisor (type 2).

Type 1 grievances should be brought to the attention of the Advisor, and the Advisor will work with the student to help resolve the situation; e.g., a grievance with another student within the lab. If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved after involving the Advisor, then the student should contact the program coordinator and then if unresolved, the program Co-directors for guidance.  Most grievances can be handled locally, however, students will also be made aware of departmental/college/graduate school resources available to them.

Type 2 grievances are particularly pernicious due the inherent imbalance of power in the advisor-student relationship. If the student feels aggrieved by the advisor, there are several potential routes to pursue. The student is strongly encouraged to inform the program (either program coordinator or Director) of the nature of the problem and seek guidance.  Some problems can be resolved through the Certification committee.  Examples include disagreements about when to publish a manuscript or when to have their semi-final committee meeting.  Other challenges should be discussed with a Program Co-Director, who will serve as an ombudsperson between faculty, Certification Committee, and student.  If the program is unable to resolve the issue, the student will be guided through other campus resources available to them.  These include the Department Chair in Oncology, and Ombuds offices in SMPH and the Graduate School for additional guidance and formal routes of appeal. 

UW Academic Policies and Procedures for Grievances can be found on the graduate school web page ( under Grievances and Appeals.