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NIH closes sexual harassment loopholes in guidelines governing its grantees
May / June 2020 | Volume 19, Number 3
NIH has announced
new guidance for grantees that addresses reported gaps in its policies against sexual harassment. NIH grant recipients will now be expected to promptly inform the agency of changes in investigators or movement of a grant to a new recipient institution, specifying if the changes are related to harassment, bullying, retaliation or hostile working conditions. This includes situations where a senior researcher is removed from a grant during investigation of a serious allegation.
“The reason is clear - NIH does not tolerate sexual harassment. Period,” according to a
blog post from the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER) that explained the changes. The new guidance builds on previous steps NIH has taken to strengthen reporting of sexual harassment and other misconduct, and is intended to prevent instances of “passing the harasser,” in which a scientist who changes institutions could evade the consequences of sexual harassment findings.
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