Violence Prevention

Violence Prevention policy

University Health Services (UHS) has designed an online sexual violence prevention training program specifically for graduate students to promote the health and safety of the campus community by increasing understanding of sexual assault, harassment, dating and domestic violence, and stalking, as well as prevention strategies, resources, victim rights, and reporting options. Starting fall 2017, all new incoming graduate students, admitted summer 2017 or after, are required to complete the 45-minute online training program within their first semester. Failure to complete the training will result in probation and a registration hold.

For further information, review the Task Force on Sexual Violence and Harassment recommendations document, which was adopted by University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents in 2016. For questions, visit the violence prevention program website or email

Responsible Conduct of Research

Responsible Conduct of Research policy

The various areas of responsible conduct of research and associated policies are described below. A comprehensive document regarding UW–Madison Research Safety and Compliance Training Requirements can be found here and also in the Research Checklist.

Animal Care and Use in Research
UW–Madison has federal compliance responsibilities that pertain to the use of live, vertebrate animals in research, teaching and outreach activities. This includes but is not limited to traditional basic and applied research models, instruction of students, and public events. Oversight and evaluation of the humane and ethical use of animals is performed by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs). The Research Animal Resource Center (RARC) provides support to the IACUCs and training to animal users necessary to provide the highest quality care and compliance for the university’s research animals. Learn more about the rules and regulations governing the care and use of research animals, how to prepare and submit animal care and use protocols to IACUCs, and how to obtain veterinary and pathology services at the Research Animal Resources Center webpage. Training and protocol approval are required before one can begin research projects involving animals.

Authors of a research publication are usually those who provide meaningful intellectual contribution to a project in one or more of the following ways: concept, design, supervision, resources, materials, data collection and processing, analysis or interpretation, literature search and writing. Many academic journals may list very specific requirements for authorship. All authors have rights and responsibilities thus any person listed as an author should be knowledgeable and aware of such. Unless the contributions of the co-authors are listed, each author takes full responsibility for the contents of the work. When asked to serve as a publication reviewer, students should treat this material as confidential. Further information about authorship, publication and peer review can be found here.

Conflict of Interest
The Conflict of Interest (COI) staff and committee review reports of outside activities and financial interests to comply with federal, state, and University regulations and policies. This committee also works with faculty and staff to eliminate, minimize, or manage any actual or potential financial conflicts of interest identified by the reporting process. For further information see the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Research Conflict of Interest policy and Outside Activities Reporting webpage.

Human Research Protections
In accordance with federal regulations and UW–Madison policies, all research involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to any research intervention with participants. All graduate research involving human subjects for inclusion in a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation must be approved by an IRB before beginning the research. Training is required before a project is submitted to an IRB for review. For additional information, see the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Research Human Research Protection Program webpage. For additional information on biomedical research visit the Health Sciences IRB webpage and on non-biomedical research visit the Educational and Social Behavioral Science IRB webpage.

Intellectual Property Rights
Except as required by funding agreements or other university policies, the university does not claim ownership rights in the intellectual property generated during research by its faculty, staff, or students. This policy has proven beneficial to the university, the public, and the creators of such property. In the case of inventions funded in whole or in part by a federal agency or in the case of sponsored research agreements that require the university to grant rights in inventions generated by funding under such agreements, faculty, staff, and students must assign rights to such invention to the university’s designated patent management organization, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). Faculty, staff, and students must execute all papers necessary to file patent applications on the invention and establish the federal government’s or other sponsor’s rights in the invention. If there are no specific written agreements or policies to the contrary, the researcher at the university is free to dispose of the rights in the manner of his or her own choosing. The university retains the right to use the products of research conducted as a university activity for its education and research mission. Further information and forms for reporting inventions can be found here. Further information on intellectual property can be found here.

Misconduct of Research
Graduate education is carried in classrooms, laboratories and other research venues, and is often supported by federal or other external funding sources. Maintaining the integrity of academic and research efforts carried out at UW–Madison is an essential priority. At UW–Madison, graduate students are held to the same standards of responsible conduct of research as faculty and staff. Misconduct in scholarly research is defined as fabrication (making up data), falsification (changing or misreporting data), plagiarism (representing work of others as your own), or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scholarly community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. The Faculty Policy 11-314 on Misconduct in Scholarly Research can be found here and further information can be found here. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education is responsible for investigating allegations of research misconduct. For more information, contact the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Policy and Integrity.

Reporting Wrongdoing, Non-compliance or Research Misconduct:
The University of Wisconsin-Madison strives to foster the highest scholarly and ethical standards among its students, faculty, and staff. As a recipient of federal funding, the University of Wisconsin must comply with federal laws related to civil rights, animal welfare research misconduct, and others. Though extremely rare, we realize there are times when reportable events of wrongdoing, noncompliance, or misconduct may occur in our midst and that it is our responsibility as an academic community to take steps to rectify them. The full policy can be found here.

A patent is an exclusive statutory right available to the inventor or inventors of new material. As inventors, students may have the right to seek patent protection for their invention (for example, for a product that results from the research documented in their dissertation).

If students have received support (for example, an appointment as a Research Assistant or Project Assistant) for the work leading to an invention, or used any other university funding, supplies, equipment, or university premises, in the work leading to an invention, they may have obligations that affect their rights to seek patent protection for an invention. It is important to discuss patents with their advisor. Also, students should review the Intellectual Property Policies and Procedures for University Research document, produced by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.

Research Regulatory Compliance
If students’ research involves human subjects (including data sets, surveys, human blood, or other body materials), live animals, recombinant DNA, infectious agents, stem cells, or biological toxins, they should consult the Research Ethics webpage.


Biological Safety
The Office of Biological Safety assists faculty, students, and staff in observing safe practices in research in the biological sciences as prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and endeavors to ensure that research is done in secure facilities in compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations. As an institution receiving NIH research funds, UW–Madison is subject to the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules (rDNA). OBS provides the administrative mechanism by which research involving rDNA can be reviewed, thereby assuring compliance with the NIH Guidelines. This institution adheres to the guidance of the CDC/NIH publication, Biosafety in Biomedical and Microbiological Laboratories. Institutional policies are described in the UW–Madison Researchers’ Biosafety Manual.

Chemical Safety
The UW–Madison Chemical Safety Office, working in conjunction with the campus Chemical Safety Committee, establishes policies and procedures for the safe acquisition, use, storage and disposal of chemicals on campus. The Chemical Safety Office also advises campus chemical users on best practices and helps the university community comply with federal, state, and local chemical and environmental safety laws. See the Office of Chemical Safety website for additional information.

Radiation Safety
The UW–Madison Office of Radiation Safety provides training on the safe use and handling of radioactive materials, which includes ordering, use, disposal, spill cleanup and shipping for those employees who will need to ship radioactive materials. The Office of Radiation Safety also provides shielding assessments and dosimetry to those users who require it. Additionally, training on safe use of x-ray generating equipment and lasers is also available. See the Office of Radiation Safety website for additional information.

Misconduct, Non-Academic

Misconduct, Non-Academic policy

Chapter 17 of the University of Wisconsin Administrative Code describes non-academic misconduct as follows:

The university may discipline a student in non-academic matters in the following situations:

  • for conduct which constitutes a serious danger to the personal safety of a member of the university community or guest;
  • for stalking or harassment;
  • for conduct that seriously damages or destroys university property or attempts to damage or destroy university property, or the property of a member of the university community or guest;
  • for conduct that obstructs or seriously impairs university-run or university-authorized activities, or that interferes with or impedes the ability of a member of the university community, or guest, to participate in university-run or university-authorized activities;
  • for unauthorized possession of university property or property of another member of the university community or guest;
  • for acts which violate the provisions of UWS 18, Conduct on University Lands;
  • for knowingly making a false statement to any university employee or agent on a university-related matter, or for refusing to identify oneself to such employee or agent;
  • for violating a standard of conduct, or other requirement or restriction imposed in connection with disciplinary action.

Examples of non-academic misconduct include but are not limited to:

  • engaging in conduct that is a crime involving danger to property or persons, as defined in UWS 18.06(22)(d);
  • attacking or otherwise physically abusing, threatening to physically injure, or physically intimidating a member of the university community or a guest;
  • attacking or throwing rocks or other dangerous objects at law enforcement personnel, or inciting others to do so;
  • selling or delivering a controlled substance, as defined in 161 Wis. Stats., or possessing a controlled substance with intent to sell or deliver;
  • removing, tampering with, or otherwise rendering useless university equipment or property intended for use in preserving or protecting the safety of members of the university community, such as fire alarms, fire extinguisher, fire exit signs, first aid equipment, or emergency telephones; or obstructing fire escape routes;
  • preventing or blocking physical entry to or exit from a university building, corridor, or room;
  • engaging in shouted interruptions, whistling, or similar means of interfering with a classroom presentation or a university-sponsored speech or program;
  • obstructing a university officer or employee engaged in the lawful performance of duties;
  • obstructing or interfering with a student engaged in attending classes or participating in university-run or university-authorized activities;
  • knowingly disrupting access to university computing resources or misusing university computing resources.

The full text of the state statute governing non-academic misconduct, UWS 17, Student Non-Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Procedures, as well as the UW campus procedures for implementing the provisions of UWS 17 and general information about non-academic misconduct, are available here or from the Division of Student Life.

Misconduct, Academic

Misconduct, Academic policy

The university holds graduate students to a high standard of academic integrity and believes that misconduct may warrant university discipline in addition to sanctions imposed by an instructor. Graduate students who have been found by their instructors to commit academic misconduct can expect that the Office for Student Conduct and Community Standards will consider whether to impose a further disciplinary sanction of university probation, suspension, or expulsion.

Chapter 14 of the University of Wisconsin Administrative Code defines academic misconduct as follows:

Academic misconduct is an act in which a student:

  • seeks to claim credit for the work or efforts of another without authorization or citation;
  • uses unauthorized materials or fabricated data in any academic exercise;
  • forges or falsifies academic documents or records;
  • intentionally impedes or damages the academic work of others;
  • engages in conduct aimed at making false representation of a student’s academic performance; or
  • assists other students in any of these acts. UWS 14.03(1)

Examples of academic misconduct include but are not limited to:

  • cutting and pasting text from the Web without quotation marks or proper citation;
  • paraphrasing from the Web without crediting the source;
  • using notes or a programmable calculator in an exam when such use is not allowed;
  • using another person’s ideas, words, or research and presenting it as one’s own by not properly crediting the originator;
  • stealing examinations or course materials;
  • changing or creating data in a lab experiment;
  • altering a transcript;
  • signing another person’s name to an attendance sheet;
  • hiding a book knowing that another student needs it to prepare for an assignment;
  • collaboration that is contrary to the stated rules of the course; or
  • tampering with a lab experiment or computer program of another student.

The full text of the state statute governing academic misconduct, University of Wisconsin System (UWS) 14, Student Academic Disciplinary Procedures, as well as the UW–campus procedures for implementing the provisions of UWS 14 and general information about academic misconduct, are available here or from the Division of Student Life.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment policy

UW–Madison prohibits sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. These offenses violate UW–Madison policies and are subject to disciplinary action. Sanctions can range from reprimand to expulsion from UW–Madison. In many cases, these offenses also violate Wisconsin criminal law and could lead to arrest and criminal prosecution.

Students who experience sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking have many options and services available to them on and off campus, including mental health counseling, victim advocacy and access to the criminal and campus disciplinary systems. For a list a confidential support and reporting options, please visit University Health Services.

All students are encouraged to report harassment of any kind, whether it is by a faculty or staff member or another student. Students may contact the Dean of Students Office: visit 75 Bascom Hall, email, call 608-263-5700 and ask to speak to the Dean on Call, or fill out a Bias Incident Reporting Form.

Faculty, staff, teaching assistants, and others who work directly with students at UW–Madison are required by law to report first-hand knowledge or disclosures of sexual assault to university officials for statistical purposes. In addition, disclosures made to certain university employees, such as academic advisors or university administrators, may be forwarded to the campus Title IX coordinator for a response. For more information, visit The Dean of Students Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence webpage.

Graduate students are expected to complete an online violence prevention program. More information can be found here.

See Grievances and Appeals

Grievances and Appeals

Grievances and Appeals policy

If a student feels unfairly treated or aggrieved by faculty, staff, or another student, the university offers several avenues to resolve the concern. All graduate programs, departments and schools/colleges have established specific grievance procedures for handling such situations; these grievance procedures are found in the program’s Graduate Guide page under the policy tab.

The department-school/college academic grievance process should be used to resolve academic issues or disputes. Examples of matters suitable for this process may include a qualifying exam failure, author dispute, or concerns regarding advising/mentoring, to name a few.

Graduate Assistants in TA, PA and/or RA appointments may utilize the Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures (GAPP) grievance process to resolve employment-related issues. Examples of matters appropriate for the GAPP grievance process include allegations of violation of GAPP, including allegations excessive work hours, violations of sick days or vacation policies, or disputes regarding the assignment of duties.

For issues involving hostile and intimidating behavior (HIB) by a faculty or staff member, students should contact the Graduate School Assistant Dean for Academic Services for information on accessing the the appropriate HIB process.

For issues involving civil rights, ADA, Equal Opportunity or Sexual Misconduct,  students should contact the Office of Compliance.

If you have questions about whether the grievance policy at the program level or GAPP procedure would be suitable for your concern, you are encouraged to reach out to your college, school or division human resources representative.

Through A Graduate Student Guide to Working with Faculty Advisors, an interactive, self-paced micro-course, graduate students learn about the characteristics of functional and dysfunctional relationships with faculty advisors, strategies for communicating effectively and aligning expectations, as well as program grievance processes and Hostile and Intimidating Behavior resources. Completion of the micro-course takes about 20 minutes and is optional but encouraged for all graduate students.

In addition, the following administrative offices have procedures available for addressing various concerns:

Dean of Students Office (for all issues of concern involving students)
70 Bascom Hall

Office for Equity and Diversity (for discrimination or harassment issues)
179A Bascom Hall

Employee Assistance (for conflicts involving graduate assistants and other employees)
256 Lowell Hall

Ombuds Office for Faculty and Staff (for graduate students and post-docs, as well as faculty and staff)
523-524 Lowell Center


Graduate School (for informal advice at any level of review and for official appeals of program/departmental or school/college grievance decisions)
217 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1380

Graduate School Appeal Process
If a student believes that his/her grievance was not appropriately handled or resolved at the program/department or school/college level or through consultation with other resources listed above, the student may file an appeal with the Graduate School.

If the student wishes to file an official appeal of a grievance decision, they should consult with the Graduate School’s Director of Academic Services and send the following information to the Graduate School Office Academic Services:

  • A detailed written statement on the events that resulted in the grievance and any efforts to resolve the matter prior to the appeal;
  • Copies of any relevant communications regarding the events that resulted in the grievance; and
  • Any determinations or actions taken by the program/department/School/College or other resource office on campus regarding the events that resulted in the grievance.
  • A statement of how the program and/or college did not follow their published grievance process.

Upon receipt of all of the above materials:

  • The Director of Academic Services will forward the formal grievance to an appropriate Associate Dean of the Graduate School for review.
  • The student will be notified in writing, within 5 business days after the materials arrive in the Graduate School, acknowledging receipt of the formal appeal and giving the student a time line for the review to be completed.
  • If necessary, the Associate Dean will request additional materials relevant to the issues raised in the student’s grievance from the student and/or the program/department (i.e., departmental handbook explaining grievance procedures).
  • If necessary, the Associate Dean will arrange a meeting with the student and an appropriate designee of the Graduate School’s Office of Academic Services.
  • If necessary, the Associate Dean will arrange a meeting with the student’s advisor and/or program/department chair and the Director of Academic Services.
  • The Associate Dean will convene a meeting with the Graduate School Leadership Team (not including the Dean of the Graduate School) to vote on whether to uphold or reverse the decision of the program/department/School/College on the student’s initial grievance. If the student wishes, they may present their case at this meeting and faculty and/or staff affiliated with the program whose decision is being appealed may also present their case at this meeting, if they wish.  Neither the student nor the non-Graduate School faculty and staff may be present when the Graduate School Leadership Team deliberates. The Associate Dean will attend this meeting.
  • The Associate Dean will notify the student, the advisor and/or program/department chair, in writing, of the decision, with a copy to the Graduate School’s Office of Academic Services within 45 business days of the submission of the appeal by the student.

Graduate School Final Appeal Process
If a student is not satisfied with the initial appeal to the Graduate School Associate Dean, they may make a final appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School within 30 calendar days of date of the above written decision.  This process will proceed as follows:

  • The student should send a request for a final appeal to the Associate Dean, asking for the appeal to be reviewed.  No new information may be submitted at this time.
  • The Associate Dean will forward the complete file to the Dean of the Graduate School within 10 business days after receipt of the request to review the appeal.
  • The Dean of the Graduate School will bring the appeal to the Graduate School Academic Planning Council (GSAPC) to review the appeal. The GSAPC is a Graduate Faculty Executive Committee (GFEC) subcommittee of five faculty from among its elected members, one from each division and the fifth member at large.
  • The Dean of the Graduate School will issue an official charge and an appropriate time frame (30 days within the fall and spring semester; appeals received in the summer may take up to 60 days) for completing a review.
  • The GSAPC will review the student’s final appeal, including all materials previously submitted, and will determine if additional information and/or a meeting with the student and/or program/department is needed.
  • The GSAPC will report its recommendation at the next appropriate GSAPC meeting. GSAPC meetings occur six times during the fall and spring semesters.  The Dean of the Graduate School may call additional GSAPC meetings if review of an appeal is necessary during the summer semester.  The full GSAPC, excluding the Dean of the Graduate School and the Associate Dean(s) of the Graduate School, will vote on the appeal and advise the Dean of the Graduate School of its recommendation. The Dean of the Graduate School will then consider the GSAPC recommendation and all other pertinent material provided as part of the appeal. The final decision will be conveyed in writing by the Dean of the Graduate School to the student and the program, with a copy to the Director of Academic Services, within 20 business days after the GSAPC meeting.
  • No further appeals will be considered by the Graduate School.


Exceptions policy

In extreme and rare circumstances, the Dean(s) of the Graduate School have authority to grant exceptions to existing Graduate School policy.


Discrimination policy

In conformance with applicable federal and state law and with university policy, UW–Madison does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, marital or parental status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, disability, retaliation for making a complaint of discrimination or taking part in an investigation relating to discrimination, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status with regard to treatment of students in the educational programs or activities that the university operates.

Should students wish to speak to someone about discrimination or harassment protected by federal or state laws or campus policies, they should contact the Office of Compliance or the Dean of Students Office.