In DepthScience Policy

NIH prepares to toughen harassment rules

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Science  21 Jun 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6446, pp. 1117-1118
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6446.1117

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Last year, on the heels of several high-profile cases of sexual harassment in science, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, came under fire for standing by while another major U.S. research funding agency, the National Science Foundation (NSF), quickly tightened its policies. But now, NIH officials appear ready to act—and even to go beyond NSF's rules. NIH leaders said last week that they plan to move forward with four recommendations from a group advising the agency, including hard-hitting reporting requirements aimed at making sure NIH doesn't unknowingly fund researchers found guilty of sexual harassment. NIH Director Francis Collins said he welcomed the advice from the 14 outside scientists and seven NIH staff members who had been meeting since February. The group's report is also drawing praise from the #MeTooSTEM movement and others.

  • * With reporting by Meredith Wadman and Jeffrey Mervis.

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