Complaints Procedure

  1. Any student wishing to make a complaint about the research environment they are working in should, in the first instance, refer the problem to their supervisor.
  2. Where the complaint involves problems of supervision, the student should initially seek the advice and help of either a member of their Training Advisory Panel or the Director/Associate Director of the Biology Graduate School Board (BGSB). The Training Advisory Panel member is expected to inform the Director/Associate Director of BGSB if they consider the complaint of sufficient moment.
  3. Graduate Students should be aware that the Graduate Representative can be consulted about their grievances and has a complete copy of the complaints procedure.
  4. Notes of all discussions must be kept by the academic in case further phases occur in the complaints procedure.
  5. Where the complaint cannot be dealt with to the satisfaction of the student and Director/Associate Director of BGSB, by discussions between the Training Advisory Panel member or the Director/Associate Director of the BSGB and the supervisor, then the student has the right to ask for a formal meeting of their Training Advisory Panel.
  6. The Training Advisory Panel will be convened by a member other than the supervisor. While, if possible, the supervisor should be present for part of the proceedings, it is expected that the Training Advisory Panel will talk with the student in the absence of the supervisor. A report will be prepared by the convenor, signed by him/her and the other Training Advisory Panel members, and given to the Director/Associate Director of BGSB. The latter will discuss the report, in confidence, with the Head of Department and the supervisor. The student and supervisor will both receive a copy of the report.
  7. If the problems remain unresolved the Head of Department will then consult the student and the supervisor. Solutions to the problems will then by sought by the Head of Department and the Director/Associate Director of BGSB.
  8. Copies of all documents produced within the complaints procedure will become part of the student's file and may, if requested by the student, be presented to their External Examiner along with the thesis.
  9. Where the complaint relates to harassment the procedure followed will be that of the University 'Code of Practice on Harassment'
  10. Students retain the right to make direct representations to the Head of Department if they consider that the Complaints Procedure cannot deal with the complaint in a suitable manner. It is expected that the Director/Associate Director of BGSB will be informed of such instances by the Head of Department.
  11. Where the Director/Associate of BGSB with respect to any complaint is not considered to be independent, then the student and Training Advisory Panel should arrange with the Head of Department for another member of staff to take on the role of Director/Associate Director of BGSB with respect to the Complaints Procedure. Normally, a core member of the BGSB academic staff, e.g. Development Officer, Recruitment Officer would take on this responsibility. Where the position of the Head of Department with respect to any complaint is not considered to be independent, then the student and Training Advisory Panel should arrange with the Director/Associate of BGSB for another member of staff to take this responsibility.
  12. 12. Incoming graduate students will be informed that a complaints procedure exists and the information in items 1 and 3 above will be incorporated into the documents provided to all incoming graduate students.