Washington Update

FASEB Transmits Letter to NIH Leadership on Climate Survey for Extramural Utilization

By: Jacqueline Robinson-Hamm
Thursday, November 11, 2021
Last week, FASEB transmitted a letter to National Institutes of Health (NIH) leadership recommending collaborative efforts to deploy their workplace climate and harassment survey for broad use at extramural institutions. NIH used this survey in 2019 to assess its intramural workplace climate and harassment rates and indicated that the instrument would be made available for extramural use.

Recently, NIH called attention to this survey as a resource to evaluate workplace climate on its  anti-sexual harassment website. FASEB appreciates this first step of integrating workplace climate survey resources as part of NIH’s efforts to end sexual harassment. However, the survey instrument may benefit from updates, such as including a free response option and additional considerations presented in the recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Guidance for Measuring Sexual Harassment Prevalence Using Campus Climate Surveys. Moreover, further communications to key stakeholders, such as university offices that deploy climate surveys, may be necessary to fully engage the extramural community.

NIH has demonstrated a deep commitment to ending harassment of all types through the UNITE Initiative, the Advisory Committee to the Director Working Group on Changing the Culture to End Sexual Harassment, and the Office of Scientific Workforce Diversity. FASEB encourages NIH staff and volunteers invested in these separate efforts to collaborate toward providing the extramural community a standardized survey instrument to identify and address concerns about workplace climate and harassment.