How We Handle Allegations of Sexual Harassment

If there are concerns that sexual harassment is affecting an NIH-funded project, we want to know about it. NIH takes the same rigorous approach to addressing allegations involving sexual harassment as we do other integrity issues. We have added a web page that highlights the detailed steps NIH takes when we receive notification of a concern. Continue reading

New “All About Grants” Podcast on NIH’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Policies for Awardees

Sexual harassment is a serious and long-standing issue within the biomedical research enterprise, and NIH is striving to be part of the solution. On this episode of the “All About Grants” podcast, we sit down with Dr. Jodi Black, Deputy Director for the NIH’s Office of Extramural Research, to discuss what institutions, investigators, and others in the research community should know about NIH’s policies and expectations for assuring a safe and harassment-free work environment. Continue reading

How to Notify NIH about a Concern that Sexual Harassment is Affecting an NIH-Funded Activity at a Grantee Institution

As part of our continued efforts, we are pleased to announce a new webform that allows for anybody in the biomedical research community to share information related to a potential case of sexual harassment directly and, if desired, anonymously, to NIH. The establishment of this webform, in tandem with other actions, is taken as part of our continuing commitment to address the underlying culture that enables sexual harassment to take place. Continue reading

New Application Requirements for Institutional Training Grants: Letter of Institutional Commitment to Harassment and Discrimination Protections

NIH takes the issue of sexual harassment and discrimination very seriously. As such, beginning with applications submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2019, institutional training grant applications (T15, T32, T34, T35, T36, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TL4) must include a letter that describes the institutional commitment to ensuring that proper policies, procedures, and oversight are in place to prevent discriminatory harassment and other discriminatory practices. Continue reading

NIH Policies to Address Sexual and Gender Harassment in NIH-supported Extramural Research

Several months ago, we learned in the press that an NIH-supported investigator was banned from his university campus pending an ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct. The institution, which was the recipient of the awards in which this investigator was designated as principal investigator (PI), had not informed us of this situation. Once aware, we contacted senior institutional officials to discuss the need to ensure the effective stewardship of the award under these circumstances. We requested that the institution provide us with alternative plans for conducting the research given that this individual would no longer serve as PI and would have no other involvement in the NIH-funded research, and we reminded them (as we recently reminded the community and as reiterated below) that they are responsible for notifying NIH of any change in status that might affect the ability of an individual identified as key personnel to conduct NIH-supported research. Continue reading

New Steps to Help Ensure Safe Work Environments for NIH-Supported Research

If an institution requests approval to remove a principal investigator (PI) or other senior key person named in the grant award due to concerns about safety and/or the work environments (e.g. due to concerns about harassment, bullying, retaliation, or hostile working conditions), NIH expects to be notified. If an institution requests a change of recipient institution, and there are concerns about safety and/or work environment involving the PD/PI, NIH expects to be informed. Continue reading

Achieving Gender Equity at Conferences

Inviting women to speak at conferences matters for many reasons – it’s a matter of fairness; it gives eminently qualified women a level playing field; it is just the right thing to do. In essence, it’s about changing the fundamental culture of the biomedical research enterprise to allow full participation from people of all backgrounds. In that vein, I’d like to remind you that if you are applying for an R13 conference grant from NIH, please be sure to read the requirements in the Funding Opportunity Announcement, where meeting diversity is a long-standing expectation. Continue reading

Year in Reflection 2018

As we look back at 2018 – or for that matter any year – it seems reasonable to ask questions like “Irrespective of the outcomes, did we make the right decisions?” Given the choices we had, did we go about making our choices in a skillful way? And we can dig deeper – did we take steps to minimize uncertainty? … to mitigate the impact of bad outcomes? … to seek a diversity of opinions? … to make our decisions as data-driven as possible? … Continue reading