This Notice was RESCINDED on July 20, 2021, please see NOT-OD-21-150 that replaces it.


RESCINDED - Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to add harassment as an area of interest to Research to Understand and Inform Interventions that Promote the Research Careers of Individuals in the Biomedical Sciences
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

March 18, 2021

First Available Due Date:
October 15, 2021
Expiration Date:
January 08, 2022

Related Announcements

NOT-GM-20-050 - Note of Change to Application Due Dates for PAR-19-295 "Research to Understand and Inform Interventions that Promote the Research Careers of Individuals in Biomedical Sciences (R01 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)"

PAR-19-295 - Research to Understand and Inform Interventions that Promote the Research Careers of Individuals in the Biomedical Sciences (R01 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Issued by

Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)

National Eye Institute (NEI)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

All applications to this funding opportunity announcement should fall within the mission of the Institutes/Centers. The following NIH Offices may co-fund applications assigned to those Institutes/Centers.

Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO)


The purpose of this Notice is to inform potential applicants of the NIH’s interest in supporting research on interventions designed to change the culture to mitigate or eliminate sexual harassment in the biomedical research enterprise. This notice aligns with the Anti-Sexual Harassment policy statements released by NIH as well as recommendations made in the December 2019 Report from the Working Group to the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) on Changing the Culture to End Sexual Harassment, which were endorsed by the ACD.


The cumulative effect of sexual harassment is a significant devastating and costly impact to individuals and the nation. The loss of talent has consequences for advancing the nation's economic and social well-being and its overall public health, as well as damaging costs to the individuals and their families. The costs to individuals and institutions are significant. The abused may face the loss of a job, promotion, or privileges if they refuse the harasser. The unwelcome advances can create a hostile workplace such that the individual may feel the need to leave a position or career. Additionally, harassment contributes to an unsettled situation for those who are not directly involved but who have regular interactions with both the target and harasser. There are emotional, physical, mental, and legal consequences, which may have a direct impact on individual performance and career advancement, as well as social and fiscal impacts on the institutional setting, students and co-workers.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report, Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, demonstrates the urgent need to develop new partnerships to address this challenging problem. A 2003 meta-analysis found that 58 percent of women in academia faced sexually harassing behavior. A report on sexual assault reports that 63% of sexual assaults are not reported, with false reports being as low as 2 – 10 percent. The NASEM study found that the most prevalent risk factor for sexual harassment is related to institutional culture or climate of tolerance.

This systemic problem will require long-term change in the culture of the scientific enterprise, the behavior of scientists and administrators, and perhaps fundamental restructuring of the research environment. Trainees (students, postdoctoral fellows, medical residents, and clinical fellows), early career faculty and foreign scientists deserve special attention due to power differentials, career-stage vulnerability, and residency considerations.

There remains a clear need for research on the methods used to study sexual harassment in the biomedical research workforce, E.g. are they sufficient, inclusive, and reliable? Investigators interested in the development of models, analytical tools, data, and metrics that can inform science policy, the optimization of the scientific enterprise, the advancement of the scientific basis of science innovation and implementation policy should also consider the Science of Science Policy Approach to Analyzing and Innovating the Biomedical Research Enterprise (SCISIPBIO) program jointly sponsored by the National Institute on General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Research Objectives

The NIH is encouraging applications to investigate and understand the culture and climate of sexual harassment. The objective of this Notice is to invite applications associated with PAR-19-295 “Research to Understand and Inform Interventions that Promote the Research Careers of Individual in the Biomedical Sciences (R01 – Clinical Trial Not Allowed)”. The FOA encourages the use of evidence-based practices and recognizes the need for more hypothesis-driven research to test biomedical training, mentoring and networking interventions for efficacy and replicability across career stages and at a range of institution types and to provide insights into the factors contributing to success. Through this funding announcement, NIH intends to enhance the evidence base for effective, high-impact, scalable interventions, and to improve an understanding of the factors contributing to success, including the social and behavioral factors involved in the advancement of individuals pursuing independent academic biomedical research careers.

This NOTICE emphasizes an interest in a broad range of research that provides generalizable and reproducible results that could inform interventions to mitigate and eliminate sexual harassment in the biomedical research workforce. NIH defines sexual harassment as “a form of harassment that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.” Examples of harassing and threatening conditions or behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Repeated attempts to establish an unwanted relationship
  • Sharing sexually inappropriate images or videos, such as pornography, with others in the workplace
  • Sending suggestive letters, notes, texts, or e-mails
  • Displaying inappropriate sexual images in the workplace
  • Telling lewd jokes or sharing sexual anecdotes
  • Making inappropriate sexual gestures
  • Staring in a sexually suggestive or offensive manner or inappropriate whistling
  • Making sexual comments about appearance, clothing, or body parts
  • Inappropriate touching, including pinching, patting, rubbing, or purposefully brushing up against another person
  • Making offensive comments about or asking questions about someone's sexual behavior or history, sexual orientation, or gender identity

The NIH is encouraging the community to build a greater understanding of the culture and the environment that may lead to increased risk of sexual harassment, in order to develop interventions or inform existing policies and procedures to help mitigate this risk.

Research topics in this context may include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Interventions aimed at educating the research community about what sexual harassment is, what it looks like and how to address it.
  • Research on the development of effective interventions tailored to different types of organizations and climates that improve the health and safety of biomedical researchers. E.g.:
    • Safety walks and/or checklists for leadership to assess workplace climate
    • Bias training
    • Bystander intervention training
    • Bridge funding
    • Legal assistance
    • Provision of matching institutional or non-restricted funds for international students
  • Interventions that include procedures and policies that model and promote a positive climate that cultivates respect, civility, and safety.
  • The validity and effectiveness of current policies or procedures to inform interventions to mitigate or eliminate sexual harassment, as evidenced by scientific inquiry. This may include studies on the effects of variations in sexual harassment policy, training, enforcement, administrative review procedures and processes among departments or institutions.
  • Interventions to reduce risk factors for sexual harassment in academic science, engineering and medicine such as perceived tolerance; male dominated work settings; hierarchical power dynamic; increased focus on symbolic compliance with Title VII and Title IX.
  • Interventions to change/modify the perception and attributions of sexual harassment.
  • Intersectional approaches that recognize the cumulative way in which different forms of social identities (e.g. persons of color, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, intersex status, race, ethnicity, immigration status, age, ability status (physical, hearing, and intellectual), and socioeconomic status) interact to influence the experience of the individual.
  • Landscape analysis of the prevalence and antecedents of sexual and gender harassment in order to develop interventions that address goal-specified gaps. Components of the program:
    • Case studies
    • Survey
    • Tool development
    • Evaluation

NOTE: Applications proposing/describing projects involving and/or conducting research on animals are not appropriate for this funding opportunity. Also, applications conducting literature reviews are not appropriate.

Application and Submission Information

This Notice applies to application due dates on or after June 5, 2020 and subsequent receipt dates as well as any renewals of the parent FOA.

Submit applications for this initiative using one the following funding opportunity announcement (FOA) or any reissues of these announcements through the expiration date of this Notice.

PAR-19-295 Research to Understand and Inform Interventions that Promote the Research Careers of Individual in the Biomedical Sciences (R01 – Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the funding opportunity announcement used for submission must be followed, with the following additions:

Note: Investigators planning to submit an application in response to this NOSI are strongly encouraged to contact and discuss their proposed research (aims) with an Institute program officer listed on this NOSI and/or on the listed funding opportunity announcements well in advance of the chosen application receipt date.

Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will be withdrawn from consideration for this initiative.


Please direct all inquiries to the contacts in Section VII of the listed funding opportunity announcements with the following additions/substitutions:

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Lynn Morin
Office of Research on Women’s Health
Telephone: 301-451-2730

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices