It is NSF policy (see Chapter XI.A.1.g.) to foster safe and harassment-free environments wherever science is conducted. NSF’s policy recognizes that a community effort is essential to eliminate sexual and other forms of harassment in science and to build inclusive scientific climates where people can learn, grow, and thrive. Accordingly, for each proposal that proposes to conduct research off-campus or off site, the AOR must complete a certification that the organization has a plan in place for that proposal that describes how the following types of behavior will be addressed:
- 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
- Conduct that is unwelcome, offensive, indecent, obscene, or disorderly.
NSF defines off-campus research as data/information/samples being collected off-campus, such as fieldwork and research activities on vessels and aircraft.
This plan should also identify steps the proposing organization will take to nurture an inclusive off-campus or off-site working environment, e.g., trainings; processes to establish shared team definitions of roles, responsibilities, and culture, e.g., codes of conduct; and field support, such as mentor/mentee support mechanisms, regular check-ins, and/or developmental events Communications within team and to the organization should be considered in the plan, minimizing singular points within the communications pathway (e.g., a single person overseeing access to a single satellite phone), and any special circumstances such as the involvement of multiple organizations or the presence of third parties in the working environment should be taken into account. The process or method for making incident reports as well as how any reports received will be resolved should also be accounted for.
The organization’s plan for the proposal must be disseminated to individuals participating in the off-campus or off-site research prior to departure. Proposers should not submit the plan to NSF for review.