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NIH helps LMIC institutions combat sexual harassment

November / December 2020 | Volume 19, Number 6

In an ongoing effort to reduce sexual harassment in science, Fogarty has awarded funds to 10 low- and middle-income country (LMIC) institutions to shore up relevant policies, conduct training sessions and create awareness of the processes to report sexual harassment. The NIH Office of AIDS Research provided funds for the one-year awards.

“We realize sexual harassment is a widespread and pervasive problem,” said Fogarty Director Dr. Roger I. Glass. “We’ve seen that many women enter the research pipeline but don’t reach leadership positions. A number have reported having to change their careers due to harassment, which is a devastating experience for them and a loss for science.”

During a recent virtual network meeting hosted by Fogarty, awardees discussed how their institutions are dealing with the problem and shared strategies on how to make improvements. Although grantees reported most organizations have anti-harassment policies in place, many said they were not well publicized, and reporting processes and follow up procedures were not clearly defined. The conversation was intended to encourage collaboration in developing models to combat harassment that can be shared broadly.

NIH grantees are all required to provide a harassment-free work environment and are subject to the same terms and conditions wherever they are located, said NIH Associate Director for Science Policy Dr. Carrie Wolinetz. She cautioned the group that “policies can only take you so far,” and suggested they must be combined with communication, training and rigorous reporting - which require a firm commitment at all levels of an organization.

Grant supplements to reduce sexual harassment

Details in NIH RePORTER about grant awards receiving supplements to reduce sexual harassment, supported by the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR).

  1. Institution: Infectious Disease Institute, Uganda
    Related grant: Towards eliminating HIV in Uganda by 2030; Preparing Ethical Review Committees to support this agenda
  2. Institution: Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kenya
    Related grant: Women and HIV: Translation of Research into Practice
  3. Institution: Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya
    Related grant: Improving the HIV Care Cascade in Kenya through Implementation Science Training
  4. Institution: Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College, Tanzania
    Related grant: Sociobehavioral Sciences Research to Improve Care for HIV Infection in Tanzania
  5. Institution: Makerere University, Uganda
    Related grant: Child Mental Health in HIV-impacted Low-Resource Settings in Developing Countries: Global Research Fellowship
  6. Institution: Maseno University, Kenya
    Related grant: Sustainable Development for Improved HIV Health and Prevention in Kenya (SD4H-Kenya)
  7. Institution: Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda
    Related grant: Health-professional Education Partnership Initiative - Transforming Ugandan Institutions Training Against HIV/AIDS (HEPI-TUITAH)
  8. Institution: Moi University, Kenya
    Related grant: Brown/Moi Training Program for the Prevention of HIV related Cervical Cancer
  9. Institution: University of Lagos, Nigeria
    Related grant: Northwestern/Nigeria Research Training Program in HIV and Malignancies (NN-HAM)
  10. Institution: University of Zimbabwe
    Related grant: Partnership in Education Training and Research Advancement (PETRA)

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