IOA Research & Assessment Committee



  • Shannon Burton, Associate University Ombudsperson, Michigan State University
  • Julie Muroff, Ombuds Director, Howard Hughes Medical Institute/Janelia Research Campus

DEIAB Committee Liaisons: 

  • Jennifer Swann, Ombuds, Lehigh University
  • Donna Edmondson, University Ombudsperson, University of Texas – San Antonio

Committee Members

  • Shereen Bingham, University Ombuds (Former), University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Brian Green, Associate Ombuds, Emory University
  • Tim Hedeen, Professor of Conflict Management, Kennesaw State University
  • Steen Erik Larsen, Ombudsperson, Maersk
  • Bruce MacAllister, Ombudsman, International Foundation for Online Responsibility/University of Arizona
  • Hector Meza Escalante, Ombuds, University of California – Merced
  • Lisa PytlikZillig, University Ombuds, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
  • Mary Rowe, University Ombuds (Former), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Jennifer Schneider, Student Ombuds, University of South Florida
  • Tyler Smith, Associate Ombuds, National Institutes of Health
  • Angie Wint, University Ombudsman, Florida Atlantic University

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Working Group (a subgroup of the Research and Assessment Committee)

 Community Connections: Experiences of Ombuds Scholar-Practitioners

As a field expands, one of the indicators of a growing profession is a strong literature and scholarship base. To have this strong base, the field relies on its members as contributors and creators of that knowledge. As many ombuds are practitioners first and scholars second, engaging in knowledge production and dissemination can be daunting given time constraints, their varied responsibilities within their organizations, and perceptions of the research and publishing process in general.

This panel comprised of the JIOA Editor, Associate Editor, Reviewer, and authors will outline the developmental approach taken by the JIOA in working with authors.

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IOA Practice & Compensation Survey

Practice & Compensation Survey Sub-Committee Members

  • Hector Escalante, University of the Pacific and Earthjustice
  • Tim Hedeen, Kennesaw State University
  • Mary Rowe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology—Sloan School of Management
  • Jennifer Schneider, University of South Florida

IOA is committed to expanding our profession and documenting the value of organizational ombuds worldwide. The biennial Practice and Compensation Survey provides an important snapshot of the contemporary field of organizational ombuds based on responses from members of the International Ombuds Association (IOA) who were practitioners at the time of taking the survey.

Review Past Reports

(Member login is required to view the above link.)

Non-Members are invited to Purchase Practice & Compensation reports for $75.

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2022 IOA Practice Survey

Now Closed

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Research Award and Grant Programs

IOA is launching a Research Grant Program intended to facilitate research related to organizational ombuds theory and practice. Quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methodologies are welcome, as is research from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

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IOA is launching two annual research awards to encourage and recognize research that significantly adds to the body of knowledge on the organizational ombuds profession, practices, and professionals as outlined in IOA’s Research Agenda. Award recipients will receive monetary awards and recognition at the IOA Annual Conference. The deadline to submit award nominations is 13 January 2023.

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 Current Research Agenda

The Current Research Agenda covers three primary areas: The Ombuds Profession, Ombuds Practices, and The Ombuds Professional with eight research goals detailed below:


Research Goal 1: To Examine How Ombuds Demonstrate and Communicate Value

  • Evidence of ombuds office value/benefits/impact/effectiveness
  • Communicating about and marketing ombuds office value
  • Perceptions and expectations of the ombuds office
  • Why organizations adopt and maintain an ombuds office (or not)
  • Functions of the ombuds within a conflict management system
  • Hiring and performance appraisal methods of ombuds

Research Goal 2: To Better Understand the IOA Standards Of Practice (SOP) and Code Of Ethics (COE) 

  • How ombuds adhere to and deviate from the SOP
  • How ombuds balance inherent tensions within the SOP
  • The meaning and functions of the SOP within and across different sectors
  • How use of the SOP and COE is supported and enforced

Research Goal 3: To Assess the Development and Health of The Ombuds Profession

  • Development, growth, and durability of the profession IOA’s role and influence
  • Prevalence of ombuds positions and offices Impact of laws and policies
  • The global ombuds profession


Research Goal 4: To Explain How Ombuds Carry Out Their Work

  • Specific practices with visitors and other parties
  • Providing upward feedback Working with systemic issues and initiatives
  • Dealing with challenging cases
  • Managing dual roles
  • Navigating legal and policy challenges
  • Working with principles of fairness, justice, advocacy, and activism
  • Variations in practices around the world

Research Goal 5: To Describe How Ombuds Gather, Use, and Report Data

  • Record-keeping practices
  • Practices in tracking issues and other case information Use of data to identify issues new to the organization, patterns and trends
  • Preparing and distributing reports

Research Goal 6: To Determine How Ombuds Build Collaborative Relationships in Their Organizations and Profession

  • Ombuds supporting and connecting with each other
  • Collaborating with other roles, professions and resources Interacting and collaborating with organizational leadership.


Research Goal 7: To Explore the Development, Identity, Characteristics, And Skills of Ombuds

  • Educational preparation, training, and professional background
  • Continuing education and professional development
  • Identity and characteristics of ombuds
  • Skills and abilities of successful ombuds
  • How ombuds perceive themselves and evaluate their own work
  • Resilience and self-care methods
  • How and why people enter and exit the ombuds profession

Research Goal 8: To Examine the Nature and Scope of The Ombuds Role And Position

  • Issues ombuds help address
  • Ombuds role in the organizational system
  • Role variations in different organizational contexts
  • Caseload and workload
  • Functions and services provided

2018 JIOA article on process

To Join the Committee

If you are interested in joining this or any other committee, please visit our Volunteer Opportunities page to learn more about available positions and complete our Volunteer Interest Form.

Volunteer Interest Form