NSF enacts policy to curb sexual misconduct

News for Researchers

Posted October 29, 2018 by Ashley Washburn

To bolster its commitment to fostering safe, productive research workspaces, the National Science Foundation has taken steps to eliminate sexual misconduct.

Effective Oct. 21, a new policy requires institutions to report findings of sexual harassment or assault that involve principal investigators or co-PIs who receive new NSF awards or funding amendments. It also covers conduct by those individuals that may have occurred prior to receiving awards on or after Oct. 21.

The policy follows NSF Important Notice No. 144, which was issued in February and opened to public comment. The notice stated that NSF “does not tolerate sexual harassment, or any kind of harassment, within the agency, at grantee organizations, field sites, or anywhere NSF-funded science and education are conducted.”

As a term and condition for all awards, institutions must notify NSF of findings or determinations that key grant personnel have committed harassment, including sexual harassment or assault. The institution also must report if it has taken administrative action, including leave, in response to a finding or an investigation.

Although the current policy applies to PIs and co-PIs who hold positions of trust, all grant personnel are expected to conduct themselves respectfully and professionally. The policy is part of NSF’s ongoing effort to address harassment in science and engineering.

Helpful links
UNL’s commitment to addressing sexual misconduct and Title IX resources
NSF: Next steps against harassment fact sheet
News release: NSF announces new measures to protect research community from harassment

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