To support and foster safe and harassment-free environments wherever science is conducted, NSF has released a new requirement at NSF PAPPG (NSF 23-1), Chapter II.E.9, entitled; Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus or Off-Site Research.
Effective January 30, 2023, all proposals being submitted to NSF directly or as a subrecipient that include research being conducted off-campus or off-site, a Safe and Inclusive Working Environments Plan must be in place for that proposal.
Safe and Inclusive Working Environments Plans are not intended to be submitted to the NSF as part of the proposal, however, upon submission SPA certifies that such a plan is in place that describes how the following types of behavior will be addressed:
a. Abuse of any person, including, but not limited to, harassment, stalking, bullying, or hazing of any kind, whether the behavior is carried out verbally, physically, electronically, or in written form; or
b. Conduct that is unwelcome, offensive, indecent, obscene, or disorderly.
Off Campus/Off Site Definition: For purposes of this requirement, off-campus or off-site research is defined as data/information/samples being collected off-campus or off-site, such as fieldwork and research activities on vessels or aircraft, unless your proposal meets a UVM Exception to the requirement (see FAQ number 1).
Instruction for Principal Investigators
At Time of Proposal:
1. Determine if any research will be conducted off-campus or off-site (as defined above). If no, document the decision and no further action is needed. If yes, the next steps are as follows.
2. Develop a Safe and Inclusive Working Environments Plan for each NSF proposal using UVM's Template Plan.
3. Upload the completed Safe and Inclusive Working Environments Plan to the UVMClick - Funding Proposal as a “Other Supporting Document”.
4. Unless NSF directs otherwise, do not submit the Safe and Inclusive Working Environments Plan as part of the proposal.
At Time of Award:
1. Once the award is accepted and chartstring/s established thru SPA, distribute a copy of the Safe and Inclusive Working Environments Plan to all individuals conducting or participating in the off-campus or off-site research prior to departure.
2. Updates to the Safe and Inclusive Working Environments Plan must be distributed to all individuals conducting or participating in the off-campus or off-site research.
3. Be a mentor, have discussions with the individuals or participates about the Plan and the importance of safe and harassment-free environments.
4. Retain a copy of all versions of the Safe and Inclusive Working Environments Plan along with other award documents as specified in UVM’s record retention schedule.
5. Maintain a distribution list and supporting documentation showing who received a copy of the Plan and the date that it was delivered or received.
6. Remind students working on these NSF projects to complete the following training: