On September 21, the National Science Foundation (NSF) published a term and condition for award that requires awardee organizations to report certain events related sexual harassment. Specifically, these include:
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.
This requirement is in effect for NSF awards made on or after October 21, 2018. To comply with this and similar policies that are likely to be implemented by other sponsors, Miami is adding a new certification for PIs in Cayuse. The certification reads as follows:
I acknowledge that if I am found responsible for violating the University ‘s Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Discrimination or if any administrative action is taken against me, including being placed on leave pending an investigation, the university may be obligated to report such actions to the external funding agency if and when funding is awarded or during the project period.
I acknowledge that I have a duty to self-report to the Director of Research Ethics and Integrity any such allegations against me whether the allegations arise out of conduct at the University, on-line, at field sites, at facilities or at conferences/workshops.
I acknowledge that I have a duty to report to the Director of Research Ethics and Integrity my knowledge of any such actions against any other member of the project personnel and that the University may be obligated to report such actions to the external funding agency if and when funding is awarded.
According to NSF, reports of any actions covered by the new term and condition will result in the NSF “consult[ing] with the awardee organization, and determin[ing] what action is necessary under NSF’s authority. NSF actions may include substituting or removing principal investigators or co-principal investigators, reducing award funding, and — where neither of those options is available or adequate — suspending or terminating awards.”
Photo by Airman First Class Kaylee Dubois for the U.S. Air Force, public domain.