NIH to require grantees report instances of bullying, harassment, hostile working conditions
According to the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced they are implementing new reporting requirements for grantees related to instances of harassment, bullying, retaliation, or creating hostile working conditions. When a principal investigator (PI) or other key personnel are removed from their position or otherwise disciplined, institutions must notify NIH. Previously, NIH required notice when PIs or other key personnel were disciplined due to findings of sexual harassment, but this requirement goes further.
IRWG director Anna Kirkland reacted to this new policy, stating:
"Harassment takes many non-sexual forms, and so it is encouraging to see that NIH recognizes that it is wrong for abusive people to use the prestige and power that comes with funding to derail the careers of those below them in the academic hierarchy. The tough thing here is that for NIH to be notified, a formal report and finding at the institution must be made, and we know from the evidence that many people don't feel comfortable initiating reports. We must all do better to keep abusive cultures from forming in the first place and to support those who come forward to report them."
Professor Kirkland served on the committee for the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering that produced Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (National Academies Press, June 2018).
Read the full NIH statement.