May 10, 2022
NOT-OD-20-124 - Guidance Regarding Change in Status, Including Absence of PD/PI and Other Key Personnel Named in the Notice of Award
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH)
The purpose of this notice is to announce updated requirements for NIH notification when a Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) or other Senior/Key personnel on an NIH grant or cooperative agreement notice of award is removed or otherwise disciplined due to concerns about harassment, bullying, retaliation, or hostile working conditions.
The NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 4 outlines that NIH recipient institutions are expected to provide safe and healthful working conditions for their employees and foster work environments conducive to high-quality research, regardless of the recipient institution. Currently, when recipient institutions request prior approval for changes in PD/PI or other Senior/Key personnel or for a change in recipient institution, requests should include mention as to whether change(s) are related to concerns about safety and/or work environments (e.g., due to concerns about harassment, bullying, retaliation, or hostile working conditions) (see NIH GPS 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206).
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Public Law 117-103), Division H, Title II, Section 239 now requires that, “[t]he Director of the National Institutes of Health shall hereafter require institutions that receive funds through a grant or cooperative agreement during fiscal year 2022 and in future years to notify the Director when individuals identified as a principal investigator or as key personnel in an NIH notice of award are removed from their position or are otherwise disciplined due to concerns about harassment, bullying, retaliation, or hostile working conditions.”
Therefore, effective 60 days from the publication of this Notice, NIH recipient institutions are required to notify NIH when individuals identified as PD/PI or other Senior/Key personnel in an NIH notice of award are removed from their position or are otherwise disciplined by the recipient institution due to concerns about harassment, bullying, retaliation or hostile working conditions. Notification must be provided by the Authorized Organization Representative within 30 days of the removal or disciplinary action and must be submitted to NIH through a dedicated web form. All required notifications must include, at a minimum, the name of the Authorized Organization Representative submitting the notification, the name of the individual of concern, a description of the concerns, the action(s) taken, and any anticipated impact on the NIH-funded award(s). If it is determined that the concerns shared with NIH will impact the PD/PI or senior key personnel's ability to continue as the scientific lead of the project, NIH will require prior approval for a replacement PD/PI or senior key official.
This disclosure requirement does not replace the existing requirements to obtain prior approval for any significant change in the status of the PD/PI or other Senior/Key Personnel specifically named in the notice of award.
For more information about how NIH addresses institutional notifications of harassment, bullying, retaliation, or hostile working conditions, see Institutional Reporting.
For more information on the NIH commitment to supporting a safe and respectful workplace at institutions that receive NIH funding, please visit our website.
Resources on reporting allegations of harassment, including sexual harassment, discrimination, and other forms of inappropriate conduct that can result in a hostile work environment at your institution are available here.
Division of Grants Policy
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration