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News from NSF - Update on required reporting of harassment and assault - October 2018

New NSF Term and Condition Requiring Reporting of Harassment
Effective October 21, 2018, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will implement a new term and condition that requires awardee organizations to reporting findings of harassment. The reporting requirement applies to PIs and co-PIs who receive awards or funding amendments on or after the October 21, 2018 implementation date. Awardee organizations are required to notify NSF if the PI or co-PI is placed on administrative leave or if the awardee has imposed any administrative action on the PI or any co-PI 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.  The reporting requirement applies to conduct of a PI or co-PI that occurred prior to the October 21, 2018 effective date, if the finding/determination or imposition of administrative leave/administrative action occurs after the effective date and if the award on which the individual is PI or co-PI is subject to the term and condition. Awards are subject to the term and condition if it is awarded or if funding amendments are made on or after October 21, 2018.

Lehigh University Process for Complying with NSF Term and Condition
In order to comply with the NSF term and condition, Lehigh University’s Title IX Coordinator will notify the Assistant Vice President of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) when there is a faculty member placed on administrative leave or there is administrative action imposed on a faculty member related to any finding/determination or an investigation of an alleged violation of Lehigh’s polices or codes of conduct, statutes, regulations, or executive orders relating to sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault.  The Title IX Coordinator will not name the faculty member at that time. ORSP will then provide the Title IX Coordinator with a list of faculty members with NSF funding who are currently subject to the term and condition. The Title IX Coordinator will only provide the faculty member’s name to ORSP when there is a match. Lehigh University, through ORSP, is then required to report the information to NSF within 10 business days from the date of the finding/determination, or the date of the placement of a PI or co-PI on administrative leave or the imposition of administrative action, whichever is sooner.

PI and co-PI Notice of Applicability of NSF Term and Condition
The term and condition will be included by NSF with all other terms and conditions on awards made on or after October 21, 2018, and on funding amendments made to existing awards on or after October 21, 2018. 

Definitions
The following definitions apply to NSF’s term and condition:

Sexual Harassment: May include but is not limited to gender or sex-based harassment, unwelcome sexual attention, sexual coercion, or creating a hostile environment, as set forth in organizational polices or codes of conduct, statutes, regulations, or executive orders.

Other Forms of Harassment: Non-gender or non-sex based harassment of individuals protected under federal civil rights laws, as set forth in organizational policies or codes of conduct, statutes, regulations, or executive orders.

Finding/Determination: The final disposition of  a matter involving sexual harassment or other form of harassment under organizational policies and processes, to include the exhaustion or permissible appeals exercised by the PI or co-PI, or conviction of a sexual offense in a criminal court.

Administrative Leave/Administrative Action: Any temporary/interim suspension or permanent removal of the PI or co-PI, or any administrative action imposed on the PI or co-PI by the awardee under organizational policies or codes of conduct, statutes, regulations, or executive orders, relative to activities, including but not limited to the following: teaching, advising, mentoring, research, management/administrative duties, or presence on campus.

More information on the NSF’s term and condition can be found at the links below:

Fact Sheet - NSF: Next steps against harassment

NSF Important Notice No. 144: Harassment

NSF Full Term and Condition (Final Notice of a new NSF term and condition regarding sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, and sexual assault)

FAQs Regarding NSF’s Award Term and Condition

Office of Vice President and Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Studies • Lehigh University • 27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, PA 18015 • (610) 758-5212