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Information Regarding National Science Foundation Important Notice NO 144 Sexual Harassment

October 24, 2018


On Wednesday, September 19, 2018, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced plans to combat sexual harassment and other forms of harassment within the agency and organizations and field sites where NSF-funded research is conducted. The new policy, released on Friday, September 21, 2018, requires the 2,000 U.S. institutions of higher education and other organizations that receive NSF funds to report findings of sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault by researchers beginning October 21, 2018. NSF plans to add an award term and condition that spells out core obligations for awardees and imposes new reporting obligations.

  • Anticipated Institutional Requirements
    • Maintain Harassment-Free Research Workplaces
    • Establish and maintain clear an unambiguous standard of behavior
    • Establish notification pathways for all personnel, include students, regardless of workplace location
    • Provide accessible and evident means for reporting violations, including reporting when personnel are engaged in conferences, workshops, field work, or other research facilities
    • Ensure institutional due diligence with timely investigations of allegations and corrective actions
  • Expanded Reporting to NSF
    • Institution must report to NSF if it places a PI or a Co-PI on administrative leave related to a harassment investigation or finding.
    • Institution must report to NSF if it issues a finding/determination of a violation of conduct, policy, regulation, or statute related to sexual or other harassment, or sexual assault, against a PI or Co-PI.
    • If a Co-PI is affiliated with a sub awardee, the sub awardee must provide information to the awardee, which will report to NSF.
    • Institution must submit the report to NSF within seven (7) business days from the placements on administrative leave or the date of the finding/determination.
  • NSF Rights
    • NSF may decide to unilaterally:
      • Require the institution to remove or replace the PI or Co-PI,
      • Suspend or terminate the award, or
      • Reduce the award funding amount.
  • Coverage
    • All grant personnel (PI, Co-PI roles trigger reporting requirement)
    • All locations where grant work is undertaken (including conferences, workshops, field sites, on- and off-campus research facilities, online)

NSF Implementation

The new term and condition will be applied to new NSF awards and funding amendments to existing awards made on or after the effective date, October 21, 2018, of the terms and conditions. The new award term will also be incorporated into the next issuance of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide.

Implementation at Drexel

Drexel has long-been committed to these same principles and seeks to foster an inclusive and healthy educational and work environment based on trust and respect. Drexel’s Office of Equality and Diversity (OED) oversees Drexel’s compliance with federal, state and local laws, as well as University policies, involving allegations of discrimination and harassment. The safety of our students, faculty and staff is a priority, and we are working to create an environment where sexual and gender-based harassment and other forms of misconduct are eliminated. Our zero-tolerance policy is stated in OED-3 and we have procedures to support these principles. Drexel takes all allegations of misconduct seriously. Misconduct should be reported immediately to OED, who will take all appropriate steps to eliminate the harassment or misconduct, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.