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NSF to mandate reporting of grant-funded researchers disciplined for sexual harassment

By David Schwartz
Published: February 13th, 2018

The #me-too movement has made its way to the research funding arena in a big way. In a bid to combat sexual abuse in university research, the National Science Foundation announced its plans to mandate reporting of any NSF-funded researcher who is disciplined for sexual harassment.

The policy does not specify what action NSF will take once it learns of such cases, but agency director France A. Córdova says it will likely lead to suspensions or terminations of NSF grants.

“NSF expects to be notified immediately of [a harassment] finding, so that we can take decisive actions as appropriate, using all the tools at our disposal,” Córdova said when the policy was announced.

Córdova noted that the planned rule would require reporting only of actual findings of harassment, or provisional actions such as suspensions pending further investigation, but not initial allegations. In addition, Córdova indicated that a single investigator’s actions would not necessarily put an entire grant-funded research program at risk, since one option in the new

NSF plan could include replacing a lead investigator and allowing a grant to continue.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

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