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What to Expect When Notifying NIH

After receiving a notification about concerns that sexual harassment is affecting an NIH-funded project, NIH will begin the process of following up with the awardee institution.

Learn more about what to expect below:  
  • Individuals who have concerns that an NIH-funded project has been affected by sexual harassment may notify NIH through this web form, by phone at (301) 480-6701, or by sending an email to It is important to identify the person(s) who may have committed harassment and the institution that employs him/her/them. Notification may be done anonymously.

    While NIH can and will follow up on all concerns related to NIH-funded research, we cannot take personnel or legal actions for non-NIH employees. Therefore, NIH also strongly encourages people to report allegations of sexual harassment or assault to the appropriate authorities, which may include your local police department or your organization/institution equal employment opportunity (EEO) or human resources offices.

  • The person who notified NIH will receive an automated response acknowledging receipt of the concern and reminding them that the incident should be reported to the proper authorities.

  • Shortly thereafter the person who notified NIH of the concern will receive a response from the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER) letting them know that OER is reaching out to senior leadership at the awardee institution to better understand how the concerns pertain to NIH-funded research. That dialogue will enable NIH to work with the awardee institution, as the grant recipient/applicant, on grants compliance and oversight, and will allow NIH provide referrals to other offices and resources, as appropriate.

  • NIH will follow up with the relevant applicant/grantee institution to request information such as:
    • Timeline to investigate details of the complaint to ensure no affect on NIH funded work
    • Restrictions on persons designated on an award (such as access to the institutional facilities) and how these may affect the supported research
    • Steps taken to assure that NIH-funded work is being conducted in a safe and harassment free environment  
    • OER will expect awardee institutions to provide a written response within 30 days of being notified.
    • OER will continue to work closely with the grantee institution to ensure they maintain a safe and harassment free work environment conducive of high-quality research.
  • NIH only shares information on a “need-to-know basis and will not share details of ongoing reviews.”
  • Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.
Learn about NIH's process for handling allegations of sexual harassment on an NIH funded project at a recipient institution. 
This page last updated on February 28, 2019
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