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Supporting a Safe and Respectful Workplace at Institutions that Receive NIH Funding

NIH supports safe and respectful work environments that are free from harassment, including sexual harassment, discrimination, or other forms of inappropriate conduct that can result in a hostile work environment. Learn who to contact with questions or concerns, and what NIH's expectations are for institutions and the individuals supported on NIH-funded awards.

NIH's Commitment

NIH does not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any kind anywhere NIH-funded activities are conducted.

At the most fundamental level, our mission is about the respect of human life, which should permeate all aspects of our lives and work.  NIH is committed to ensuring a safe and respectful work environment at NIH and the institutions we fund, and will take action if a hostile work environment is affecting NIH-funded research.- NIH Director

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NIH Expectations, Policies, and Requirements

NIH expects recipient institutions to have policies and practices in place that foster a harassment-free environment. Learn about these expectations and NIH requirements for recipient institutions 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.

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NIH Actions and Oversight

Learn what actions NIH can take to address harassment, discrimination, and other forms of inappropriate conduct pre- and post-award.

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Find Help

Are you concerned about harassment, discrimination, and other forms of inappropriate conduct at your institution? Help is available from your local police department, your institution’s Equal Employment Opportunity or Human Resources office, the HHS Office of Civil Rights, and the NIH. Learn how these organizations can help.

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Institutional Reporting

Are you an institutional official who needs to report that an individual identified as PD/PI or other Senior/Key personnel has been removed from their position or otherwise disciplined due to concerns about harassment, bullying, retaliation or hostile working conditions? Learn how to report the action and what happens when you do.

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Learn what constitutes harassment, discrimination, or inappropriate conduct (for example, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, bullying, and more).



Find information on the numbers and types of cases we handle, and the resulting actions.


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Resources to Evaluate Workplace Climate Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer

Looking for resources to help ensure a safe and harassment-free workplace at your institution? Explore the Workplace Climate and Harassment Survey that NIH deployed to assess our own internal workplace. We encourage recipient institutions to use these this survey and resources to assess their own workplace climates.

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Have questions? See answers here to some common frequently asked questions related to addressing harassment, discrimination, and other forms of inappropriate conduct in the NIH-supported recipient community.

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Related Statements

Find NIH director’s statements, blogs, related articles, and other references about NIH’s continuing commitment to promoting meaningful and sustainable culture change.

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Policies and Resources for NIH Staff

Learn about the policies that apply to NIH's own employees, contractors, trainees and visitors and view related resources. Staff guidance for handling allegations from the recipient community.

This page last updated on October 29, 2021
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