Required Notifications for NSF and NIH Grants: Sexual Harassment, Other Forms of Harassment, and Sexual Assault

Version: March 2022

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) expect awardee organizations to have policies and practices in place that foster an environment free from harassment, including sexual harassment, discrimination, and other forms of inappropriate conduct that can result in a hostile work environment. This includes harassment based on ethnicity, race, gender, and disability. As outlined below, both NSF and NIH require that awardee institutions notify them if such misconduct does occur. In accordance with these requirements, Lewis & Clark’s Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) will provide the required notification to NSF or NIH within 10 business days from the date of finding/ determination, administrative leave, or other administrative action. Further, Lewis & Clark will include language relevant to this reporting requirement in any subaward agreements it issues under NIH or NSF awards.

NSF and NIH also require that the organizer(s) of any conference, symposia, or workshop held with NSF or NIH support follow specific guidelines to establish a safe environment free from harassment of any kind, develop a code-of-conduct for respectful behavior, and provide a clear means of reporting violations. Those considering hosting or organizing an NSF or NIH funded conference should contact Lewis & Clark’s Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) and SPARC for support in developing and implementing these requirements.

The following Lewis & Clark’s institutional policies are particularly relevant to this requirement:

National Science Foundation (NSF)
NSF published a Term and Condition that requires awardee organizations to report findings and determinations of Sexual Harassment, Other Forms of Harassment, or Sexual Assault. This pertains to Principal Investigators (PIs) and co-Principal Investigators (co-PIs) of NSF-funded projects, including co-PIs at subrecipient institutions. The awardee organization’s Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) is required to notify NSF of the following via a secure online form:

  • Any finding/determination regarding the PI or any co-PI that arises from a violation of awardee policies or codes of conduct, statutes, regulations, or executive orders relating to sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault; and/or
  • If the PI or any co-PI is placed on administrative leave or if any administrative action has been imposed on the PI or any co-PI by the awardee relating to any finding/ determination or an investigation of an alleged violation of awardee policies or codes of conduct, statutes, regulations, or executive orders relating to sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault.

After review, the NSF will consult with the AOR or institutional designee. Based on the results of this review and consultation, NSF may take action, including but not limited to initiating the substitution or removal of the PI or any co-PI, reducing the award amount, and/or terminating the award. Additional information about NSF policies is available via the following links.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
NIH requires that every organization receiving NIH funds has systems, policies, and procedures in place to manage research activities in accordance with NIH standards and requirements; and complies with federal laws, regulations, and policies protecting the rights and safety of individuals working on NIH-funded projects. Awardee organizations should disseminate and implement policies and practices that foster a harassment-free environment; maintain clear, unambiguous professional codes of conduct; ensure employees are fully aware and regularly reminded of applicable laws, regulations, policies, and codes of conduct; provide an accessible, effective, and easy process to report sexual harassment, and protection from retaliation; and respond promptly to allegations to ensure the immediate safety for all involved, investigate the allegations, and take appropriate sanctions.

Awardee organizations are required to notify NIH of changes in a senior key person’s status, including for example modified employment or leave status during an investigation or if they can no longer fulfill their obligations to conduct research because they have been removed from the workplace because of sexual harassment concerns. An awardee organization must notify NIH if it takes administrative or disciplinary action against an employee that affects a key person’s ability to continue as key personnel on an NIH award. Additional information is available via the following links:


  1. When a new NSF or NIH award is received, the SPARC Office will discuss this compliance requirement with the PI(s). This requirement will be included in any Subawards.
  2. On a quarterly basis, the SPARC Office will send a list of all active PIs, Co-PIs, and Senior/Key Personnel on active NSF and NIH awards and subawards to Human Resources, and HR will add this information to employees’ records in the HRIS system.
  3. Human Resources will notify the AOR/AVP of SPARC of any finding/determination or administrative action relevant to harassment or sexual misconduct imposed on any key person on an NIH or NSF funded project within five (5) business days.
  4. Within three (3) business days of receiving notification from HR, the AOR will submit the required information to the NSF or NIH via the designated method. The record of submission will be maintained with the grant records, and a copy sent to HR and the General Counsel.
  5. NSF or NIH will review and respond to the required notification, and consult with the AOR or designated other institutional leadership (e.g. Title IX coordinator, General Counsel, AVP HR) as determined by Lewis & Clark’s General Counsel.

Based on the results of their review, NSF or NIH may elect to impose restrictions or even terminate the award. In consultation with NSF or NIH, the AOR/SPARC Office will work with the General Counsel and the Dean of the school to determine how to proceed with regard to the affected NIH or NSF award.