December 12, 2018

National Science Foundation (NSF) Announces New Measures to Protect Research Community From Harassment

From the National Science Foundation (NSF):

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has taken the next steps in its agency-wide effort to ensure the research and learning environments it supports are free from harassment, publishing a term and condition that requires awardee organizations to report findings and determinations of sexual harassment, as well as establishing a secure online portal for submitting harassment notifications.

On Sept. 21, 2018, NSF will publish a term and condition for awards, to become effective 30 days after publication, that will require awardee organizations to notify the agency of:

  • Any findings or determinations that an NSF-funded principal investigator or co-principal investigator committed harassment, including sexual harassment or sexual assault.
  • The placement of the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on administrative leave, or of the imposition of any administrative action relating to a harassment or sexual assault finding or investigation.

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In February 2018, NSF announced a proposed term and condition, providing public notice by posting it for comment in the Federal Register. NSF received nearly 200 comments during the 60-day comment period.

NSF has worked with university, association and industry partners to finalize the term and condition. The comments and NSF’s responses will be available for public viewing when the notice is posted Sept. 21, 2018.

Read the Complete NSF Announcement (Including Statement from Statement from NSF Director France Córdova)

From an NSF Fact Sheet

The 2,000 U.S. institutions of higher education and other organizations that receive NSF funds are responsible for fully investigating complaints and for compliance with federal non-discrimination laws, regulations, and executive orders.

The reporting requirement currently applies to PIs and co-PIs. The term and condition affects PIs or co-PIs who receive awards or funding amendments on or after the Oct. 21 date of implementation. However, it covers conduct by those PIs or co-PIs that may have occurred prior to them receiving those awards.

NSF does not consider this a final step. This is a part of our continued efforts. NSF expects all award personnel to act in a respectful and professional manner at all times.

Direct to Full Text of NSF Fact Sheet

See Also: NSF Harassment Info Page/Resources

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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