Implementation of NSF Important Notice 144 – An Update

Dear Colleagues:

Please see the important NSF Notice below regarding its policies on sexual harassment as it relates to NSF funded awards.

Please review and forward to staff and faculty as applicable.


Sandra M. Stevens
Associate Director, Sponsored Projects
Sponsored Projects Administration


Dear Colleagues:


On February 8th, 2018, the National Science Foundation (NSF) issued Important Notice No. 144 which articulated the Foundation’s policy that it will not tolerate sexual harassment, or any kind of harassment within the agency, at grantee organizations, field sites, or anywhere NSF-funded science and education are conducted.  The notice also specified steps NSF is taking to bolster our commitment to safe research and learning environments.


On March 5th, NSF posted a draft award term and condition in the Federal Register for public comment that would require awardees to notify NSF of any findings/determinations regarding an NSF-funded PI or co-PI relating to sexual or other form of harassment, as well as if the PI or co-PI is placed on administrative leave relating to a harassment finding or investigation. In response to this posting, the Foundation received 192 insightful comments from both individuals and organizations. Each comment was carefully considered.  A revised term and condition that reflects the feedback provided will be published in the Federal Register in August 2018. Awardees are strongly encouraged to conduct a thorough review of the term and condition to determine whether the new requirements necessitate any changes to the institution’s policies and procedures.  The new term and condition will apply to new awards and funding amendments on existing awards made on or after the effective date.


NSF has also been working to enhance our web resource,, by adding NSF’s Promising  Practices.  This portal will serve as a living resource for the community to utilize in bolstering anti-harassment policies and practices at NSF-funded organizations.  This resource houses a collection of standards of behaviors tailored to field sites, facilities, ships, and conferences.  It also provides a collection of federal definitions, reporting practices, organizational responses to reporting, and other practices that were established to improve climate and culture.  NSF welcomes feedback from the community on this portal; feedback, suggestion for practices, and other comments may be submitted via NSF’s Harassment Portal Feedback Form.


We are greatly appreciative to have received such a large response to the Foundation’s sexual harassment policy and we look forward to continued engagement with the community on this important topic. Together, we can foster safe scientific workspaces where people can learn, grow, and thrive.


Rhonda Davis


Office of Diversity and Inclusion
National Science Foundation

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