The University of Houston is required to report any findings/determinations of sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault to sponsoring agencies that have incorporated this requisite in their award terms and conditions.
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) released a final version of a new term and condition entitled "Notification Requirements Regarding Findings of Sexual Harassment, Other Forms of Harassment, or Sexual Assault. The requirement applies to NSF awards, funding amendments to existing NSF awards, and Sub-Awards of an NSF award from another entity made on or after October 22, 2018.
National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced its position on sexual harassment in a notice update on NIH’s efforts to address sexual harassment in science on February 28, 2019. NIH urges universities to take action if there are concerns that sexual harassment is affecting NIH-funded research. NIH also strongly encourages people to report allegations of sexual harassment or assault to the appropriate authorities, which may include your local police department and the UH Office of Equal Opportunity Services (EOS).
When required, the University of Houston will report findings/determinations or violations of university policy, codes of conduct, statutes, regulations, or executive orders related to sexual harassment, other forms of harassment or sexual assault whenever the University takes one or more of the following actions:
- Places a PI or co-PI on administrative leave
- Imposes an administrative action on a PI or co-PI related to an investigation
- Issues a finding/determination
The Office of Equal Opportunity Services (EOS), in collaboration with the Division of Research, will prepare and submit to the sponsoring agency the information required under the award terms and conditions. Sexual harassment allegation reports are confidential. Only staff with a specified need to know (e.g. Office of Equal Opportunity Services and the Office of the General Counsel) will have access to the information.
Implementation at the University of Houston
To ensure compliance with this requirement the collaborative efforts between Division of Research and the Office of Equal Opportunity Services are outlined below.
- DOR will provide EOS with the names of all PIs and co-PIs on active sponsored projects/awards.
- EOS will work with DOR to submit notification to the sponsoring agency when a PI or co-PI is subject to administrative leave, administrative action or a finding/determination is made.
- DOR and EOS will work with the sponsor and other appropriate offices, with the primary goal of ensuring the safety and security of other award personnel and continued progress of the funded project.
- When the University of Houston is a subawardee or non-lead institution under an award, notifications will be made directly to the prime sponsor.
- After a final determination of responsibility has been made, and if a substitute PI or co-PI has not already been approved, the University of Houston in consultation with the funding agency, or lead institution, may seek to appoint a substitute PI or co-PI.
Effective January 28, 2019, NSF requires conference proposers have a policy or code-of-conduct addressing sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, and sexual assault, which shall include clear and accessible means of reporting violations. This policy or code-of-conduct must be disseminated to conference participants prior to conference attendance and made available at the conference itself.
NIH- Institutional Letter of Support Requirement for Institutional Training Grant Applications
Effective January 25, 2019, NIH institutional training grants (T15, T32, T34, T35, T36, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TL4) must include language in the institutional commitment letter outlining the University of Houston’s policies and procedures to prevent discriminatory harassment and practices. The full NIH policy notice can be found at NOT-OD-19-029.