February 11, 2022
PA-21-151 - NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (Parent R13 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
NOT-OD-21-053 - Updated Guidelines for Enhancing Diversity and Creating Safe Environments in Conferences Supported by NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements
NOT-OD-15-152 - Civil Rights Protections in NIH-Supported Research, Programs, Conferences and Other Activities
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
The purpose of this Notice is to inform applicants for NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (R13/U13) that a Plan to Promote Safe Environments (hereinafter referred to as a “safety plan”) is required as part of Just-In-Time materials should the application be recommended for funding. This requirement will take effect for R13/U13 applications submitted for the April 12, 2022 application due date.
While NIH recognizes the value of supporting meetings and conferences where scientific ideas are shared and exchanged, it also recognizes that these events can sometimes become a place where attendees may feel unsafe because of harassment or the perception that harassing behaviors are tolerated or not addressed. As a result, these individuals are not fully able to participate which impedes their contributions to the scientific exchanges supported by NIH. Having a safety plan in place prior to the conference event is a proactive strategy meant to convey to attendees a commitment to fostering a safe environment and to alert potential violators that inappropriate behaviors will not be tolerated.
Consistent with NIH Grants Policy Statement (Section 4.1.2 Civil Rights Protections) and Federal civil rights laws, it is expected that organizers of NIH-supported conferences and scientific meetings take steps to maintain a safe and respectful environment for all attendees by providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment. NOT-OD-21-053 Updated Guidelines for Enhancing Diversity and Creating Safe Environments in Conferences Supported by NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements reiterated this and suggested strategies that could be employed to support safe environments. Effective for R13/U13 applications submitted for the April 12, 2022 application due date and thereafter, all applicants recommended for funding must provide to NIH as part of Just-In-Time materials the “safety plan” that will be communicated to all conference/meeting attendees.
At a minimum, “safety plans” are required to include the following elements:
Along with the safety plan to be shared with attendees, R13/U13 applicants recommended for funding must also provide to NIH as part of Just-in-Time materials:
NIH staff will review all plans and must approve them prior to the award being made. Plans that are deemed incomplete or unsatisfactory will need to be corrected by the applicant and approved by NIH prior to award.
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
Division of Grants Policy