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Responsibilities, dispute resolution policy, and procedures


Postdoctoral fellows are expected to understand, respect, and abide by all of the regulations, procedures, and policies of the University that might apply to them, including, but not limited to:

  • Responsible Code of Conduct
    The Responsible Code of Conduct addresses such diverse areas as certification by a research ethics board, health and safety of participants, environmental monitoring, animal care, and the handling of potentially bio-hazardous materials.
  • Academic Fraud
    The University of Ottawa’s policy on plagiarism is outlined in detail on the uOttawa plagiarism webpage. Please note that while the policy explicitly mentions “the student,” the policy applies mutatis mutandis to postdoctoral fellows. Of particular note are the following points:
    • Academic fraud is an act that may result in a false academic evaluation of a postdoctoral fellow. Without limiting the generality of this definition, academic fraud occurs when a postdoctoral fellow commits any of the following offences:
      • commits plagiarism or cheating of any kind;
      • submits a work of which the postdoctoral fellow is not the author, in whole or in part (except for duly cited quotations or references). Such work may include an academic paper, an essay, a research report, a conference paper, whether written, oral, or in another form;
      • presents research data that has been falsified or concocted in any way;
      • attributes a purported statement of fact or reference to a source that has been concocted;
      • falsifies an academic evaluation, misrepresents an academic evaluation, uses a forged or falsified academic record (including a curriculum vitae) or supporting document, or facilitates the use of a falsified academic record or supporting document;
      • undertakes any other action for the purpose of falsifying an academic evaluation.

  • Code of Conduct for the Use of Computing Facilities
    Postdoctoral fellows who use the computing facilities of the University of Ottawa must do so only for the purposes for which they have been authorized. They must abide by the University of Ottawa’s code of conduct applicable to these facilities, as outlined in Policy 80 - Computing and Information Processing This URL will be opened in a new window..

Postdoctoral fellows must also comply with applicable provincial and federal legislation; professional codes of conduct of ethics governing their discipline; and regulations of external agencies governing their grants.

Postdoctoral fellows should consult the University of Ottawa’s Researcher’s Guide This URL will be opened in a new window., an important tool for all researchers that should be considered an all encompassing resource on the research process.

Responsibilities of the supervisor

Professors of the University of Ottawa who supervise postdoctoral fellows are bound by the terms of the Collective Agreement, in particular Article 10.3 (Fairness and Ethical Behaviour).

In their role as mentors, they are also obliged to inform their postdoctoral fellows of the source of their funding, the duration of their appointment, and of their rights, privileges, and obligations.


When conflicts arise between the supervisor(s) and the postdoctoral fellow, the following procedures are to be followed:

Level 1

Either party involved in a dispute shall attempt first to resolve the dispute informally by meeting with the other party involved. When the dispute involves a postdoctoral fellow’s academic performance, the postdoctoral fellow’s supervising faculty member(s) shall previously have followed a progressive corrective action process, including documentation of discussions, counseling, verbal and written warnings. If the parties are not able to resolve the dispute within ten (10) working days from their first meeting, either party shall consult with the head of the academic unit (usually, the chair of the department). The head of the academic unit shall arrange for a meeting with the parties in an attempt to resolve the dispute. Both parties shall prepare documentation outlining their position and including any pertinent information (e.g. e-mails sent, meetings previously held, a narrative of events, etc.). They shall also indicate the desired outcome. 

Level 2

If any issue cannot be resolved at the departmental level within ten (10) working days from the termination of the consultation process with the head of the academic unit, either party in the dispute may consult with the Dean of that faculty (or the Dean’s delegate), as appropriate. The Dean or the Dean’s delegate shall advise all parties of appropriate policies, procedures, and possible outcomes with respect to the dispute. Should either party wish to proceed to a formal complaint at this point (“complainant”), the complainant must provide written details of the nature of the dispute, the attempts made to resolve the issue, and the remedy sought to the Dean or the Dean’s delegate within five (5) working days from the date the consultation process with the Dean or the Dean’s delegate has been completed. The Dean or the Dean’s delegate will make a decision on the complaint within ten (10) working days from the date the complaint was received and will inform all the parties of the decision in writing.

Level 3

In the event that a dispute cannot be resolved at the faculty level, then either party may appeal to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies or the Dean’s delegate who will attempt to find a resolution within ten (10) working days from the receipt of the appeal. All relevant information related to the dispute shall be provided to the Dean of FGPS or the Dean’s delegate at the time of the filing of the appeal. The decision of the Dean of FGPS or the Dean’s delegate is final and binding on the parties, and it will be communicated in writing to both parties.

It should be noted that the procedures for dispute resolution outlined in this document are not intended to supersede any dispute procedure that has been provided for in another University of Ottawa policy applicable to the matter in dispute.

Approved by the FGPS Executive Committee on January 15, 2013.