Washington Update

NIH Publishes New Webpage for Harassment Allegation Data

By: Kyle Cavagnini
Thursday, November 11, 2021
On October 28 National Institutes of Health (NIH) updated its anti-harassment website to include high-level findings and outcomes data for harassment allegations received by the NIH Office of Extramural Research. FASEB previously raised concerns in February and August 2021 about harassment reporting statistics only being accessible through presentations to the Advisory Council to the Director. In its comments, FASEB noted that these data likely did not reach those most in need of the information, including those deciding whether to report harassment. Harassment reporting data are now easily accessible, and the NIH has committed to updating the webpage regularly.

Allegation reports are classified into three categories: sexual harassment, sexual and nonsexual harassment, and nonsexual harassment. A total of 381 harassment allegations were received from January 1, 2018–September 24, 2021, and NIH followed up with institutions in 78 percent of cases. Across all harassment allegations, 40 percent resulted in removal from peer review and 22 percent resulted in removal of the grant principal investigator. These data align with those presented in the June 2021 ACD meeting.

The form to report harassment or discrimination to NIH can be found here; anonymous reporting is possible.