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A Message from the Vice Chancellor for Research




Terry Magnuson
Vice Chancellor for Research

Felicia Washington
Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement

Reporting Harassment Findings and Actions to the National Science Foundation

We are writing to share an important update about a new National Science Foundation (NSF) grant term and condition requiring the University to report findings about any NSF-funded principal investigator or co-principal investigator that involve sexual harassment, sexual assault or other forms of harassment.

As you may be aware, the NSF announced this change last fall. Under the NSF’s current term and condition notice, the change applies to grants awarded or amended starting October 21, 2018. A related NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide went into effect February 25, 2019.

Under these new requirements, the University must report the final outcome of a formal campus investigation that finds any NSF-funded principal or co-principal investigator engaged in prohibited harassment, including sexual harassment or sexual assault, under our Policy on Prohibited Harassment, Discrimination and Related Misconduct. The University is required to file such reports with the NSF within 10 business days.

We also must report if an NSF-funded principal or co-principal investigator is subject to any administrative actions in connection with a formal campus investigation of prohibited harassment allegations. Such actions may include being placed on leave or other modifications to workplace responsibilities pending an investigation, as well as disciplinary actions linked to a finding that the employee engaged in prohibited harassment.

Our Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office is working with the Office of Sponsored Programs to ensure compliance with the new grant term. If the NSF requires any changes to an awarded grant based on the University’s reports, the Office of Sponsored Programs will work with the NSF to ensure compliance. As in all reports of harassment and related misconduct, the University will treat reports that fall under these NSF requirements with care and sensitivity and also protect the privacy rights of our employees and students consistent with our policies and federal requirements.

The University has a long-standing commitment to fostering an environment where all students, faculty and staff can pursue their scientific and research endeavors free from harassment, including sexual harassment or sexual assault. After comprehensively reviewing and updating our procedures in 2014, the University has in place a strong policy to address discrimination, harassment and related misconduct. We are pleased the NSF shares our commitment to addressing these behaviors. Their new reporting guidelines align with our continuing efforts to assure a harassment-free environment for all members of the campus community.

The NSF has published additional information about the new reporting requirements, including a fact sheet and frequently asked questions.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also recently issued a statement, posted here, updating the actions its agencies are taking to address sexual harassment. NIH has a long-standing requirement that grantees notify the agency if the principal investigator or other key personnel named on an NIH grant are no longer able to fulfill their obligations to conduct research. The NIH statement clarifies that this reporting obligation is triggered if the principal investigator or other key personnel are removed from the workplace because of sexual harassment concerns. At this time, NIH has not issued additional reporting obligations for grantees. We are monitoring this development and will share more information as details become available.

Please share this message with faculty, staff and students in your areas who are involved in the University’s research enterprise.
For campus and community resources and information about harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, we encourage you to visit To report an incident of prohibited harassment to the University, contact the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office,

Please contact Robin Cyr, associate vice chancellor for research, if you have questions about how the University is addressing the NSF’s requirements. She can be reached at 962-8756 or