Washington Update

NIH Strengthens Ability to Address Harassment

By: Jacqueline Robinson-Hamm
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
On May 10, National Institutes of Health (NIH) highlighted a provision in the 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 117-103), Division H, Title II, Section 239, that now gives the NIH director authority to require extramural grantee institutions to notify NIH when principal investigators or other key personnel on an NIH notice of award are removed from their position, or otherwise disciplined, due to concerns about harassment, bullying, hostile working conditions, or retaliation. This update takes effect July 9. As explained in the notice (NOT-OD-22-129), recipient institutions must report removal or disciplinary actions within 30 days to NIH through this dedicated web form

Previously, the NIH Grants Policy Statement indicated that when recipient institutions request prior approval of a change in program director, principal investigator, or other key personnel, or a change in recipient institution, that the request should mention if changes are related to concerns about safety or the work environment. The new requirement works in conjunction with an existing rule (NOT-OD-20-124) to strengthen NIH’s ability to address harassment at extramural institutions.

Acting NIH Director Lawrence Tabak, DDS, PhD, issued a statement about the update and Marie Bernard, MD, NIH Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity, and Michael Lauer, MD, Deputy Director for Extramural Research, provided additional information on the Extramural Nexus blog.