Scientific meetings, conference grants, symposia, symposium, public policy requirements and objectives, united states hotel and motel fire safety act of 1990, inclusion of women

14.6 Public Policy Requirements and Objectives

In addition to any applicable public policy requirements and objectives specified in Public Policy Requirements, Objectives, and Other Appropriation Mandates in IIA, the following apply to NIH Conference Grants.

14.6.1 The United States Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990

The Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990 (PL101-391) was passed into law by Congress to save lives and protect property by promoting fire and life safety in hotels, motels and other places of public accommodation. PL101-391 states that federally funded meetings and conferences cannot be held in properties that do not comply with the law. PL101-391 is applicable to all places of public accommodation, and requires that such properties are equipped with:

  • hard-wired, single-station smoke detectors in each guestroom in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard 72;
  • an automatic sprinkler system, with a sprinkler head in each guest room in compliance with NFPA standards 13 or 13R. Properties three stories or lower in height are exempt from the sprinkler requirement.

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) is charged with carrying out FEMA's responsibilities with respect to the Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990. In addition to compiling, maintaining and publishing the National Master List, USFA is also responsible for taking steps to encourage states to promote the use of automatic sprinkler systems and automatic smoke detection systems.

14.6.2 Guideline on the Inclusion of Underrepresented Populations

Conference grant applicants must address efforts to enhance diversity by increasing the representation of individuals from underrepresented populations in the planning of, implementation of, and participation in the proposed conference. Underrepresented populations include individuals from nationally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and women (see GPS Plans to enhance diversity must be included in all aspects of the conference, including the selection of the organizing committees, speakers, other invited participants, such as session chairs and panel discussants, and attendees. If plans to enhance diversity are not adequate, NIH will not make an award until the applicant has submitted acceptable documentation of its compliance.

14.6.3 Plans to Promote Safe Environments at Conferences

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. Conference grant 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.

"Safety plans" are required to include the following elements:

  • Statement of commitment to provide a safe environment
  • Expectations of behavior
    • Including list of behaviors considered harassing (specific emphasis on harassment, sexual, racial, ethnic, or otherwise)

  • Instructions on how to confidentially report alleged violations of the expectations of behavior to conference organizers

  • Description of how the organizers will assess allegations and the consequences for those who are found to violate the expectations of behavior

  • Information explaining that individuals who have questions, concerns or complaints related to harassment are also encouraged to contact the conference organizer or the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

  • Information about how to file a complaint with HHS OCR (see OCR's webpage, Filing a Civil Rights Complaint).

  • Information explaining that filing a complaint with the conference organizer is not required before filing a complaint of discrimination with HHS OCR, and that seeking assistance from the conference organizer in no way prohibits filing complaints with HHS OCR.

  • Information explaining how individuals can notify NIH about concerns of harassment, including sexual harassment, discrimination, and other forms of inappropriate conduct at NIH-supported conferences (see NIH's Find Help webpage).

R13/U13 applicants recommended for funding must also provide to NIH as part of Just-in-Time NIH policy allows the submission of certain elements of a competing application to be deferred until later in the application process, after review when the application is under consideration for funding. Within the Status module of the eRA Commons, users will find a feature to submit Just-In-Time information when requested by the NIH. Through this module, institutions can electronically submit the information that is requested after the review, but before award. See Completing the Pre-Award Process-Just-In-Time Procedures for additional information. materials:

  • a description of the strategy that will be used to communicate the Safety Plan to conference attendees and a plan to document allegations and resulting actions.

  • information on the steps the organizers will take to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all attendees, free from discrimination and harassment

NIH staff will review all plans and must approve them prior to award. Safety Plans that are deemed incomplete or unsatisfactory will need to be corrected by the applicant and approved by NIH prior to award.