Applicants for NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (R13/U13) now must provide a Plan to Promote Safe Environments (hereinafter referred to as a “safety plan”) as part of Just-In-Time materials should the application be recommended for funding. This requirement will take effect for R13/U13 applications submitted for the April 12, 2022 application due date. See NIH Notice NOT-OD-22-074, Plans to Promote Safe Environments at Conferences Supported by NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements.

Organizers of NIH-supported conferences and scientific meetings must provide NIH with a safety plan that includes the steps that will be taken to maintain a safe and respectful environment for all attendees by providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment.

In developing a “safety plan” organizers are required to include the following elements:

  • A statement of commitment to provide a safe environment
  • Expectations of behavior
    • Including list of behaviors considered harassing (specific emphasis on harassment, sexual, racial, ethnic, or otherwise)
  • Instructions on how to confidentially report alleged violations of the expectations of behavior to conference organizers
  • Description of how the organizers will assess allegations and the consequences for those who are found to violate the expectations of behavior
  • Information explaining that individuals who have questions, concerns or complaints related to harassment are also encouraged to contact the conference organizer or the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
  • Information about how to file a complaint with HHS OCR (see OCR Filing a Civil Rights Complaint)
  • Information explaining that filing a complaint with the conference organizer is not required before filing a complaint of discrimination with HHS OCR, and that seeking assistance from the conference organizer in no way prohibits filing complaints with HHS OCR
  • Information explaining how individuals can notify NIH about concerns of harassment, including sexual harassment, discrimination, and other forms of inappropriate conduct at NIH-supported conferences (see NIH Find Help)

Along with the safety plan to be shared with attendees, R13/U13 applicants recommended for funding must also provide to NIH as part of Just-in-Time materials:

  • describe the strategy that will be used to communicate the Safety Plan to conference attendees and a plan to document allegations and resulting actions
  • provide information on the steps the organizers will take to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all attendees, free from discrimination and harassment

Guidance in Preparing a Safety Plan

Berkeley’s Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) has provided a toolkit on ways to promote a safe and respectful environment in NIH -supported conferences, workshops, and symposia. Berkeley recipients of NIH funding for these types of activities are encouraged to review the OPHD toolkit.

In addition, the University of California Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy is specifically focused on sexual violence and sexual harassment, retaliation, and other behavior that violates University policy (“Prohibited Conduct”). This Policy outlines the University’s responsibilities and procedures related to Prohibited Conduct in order to ensure an equitable and inclusive education and employment environment free of sexual violence and sexual harassment.

The Policy defines conduct prohibited by the University of California and explains the administrative procedures the University uses to resolve reports of Prohibited Conduct. The University’s Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy applies to all University employees as well as undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The Policy applies at all University campuses, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Medical Centers, the Office of the President, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and to all University programs and activities.

Confidential resources, including the PATH to Care Center, are also available to those who have experienced sexual harassment, sexual violence, or other Prohibited Conduct in connection with a UC Berkeley event. Advocates can be reached 24 hours a day through The Care Line: 510-643-2005. For non-urgent questions or appointments, call the office at 510-642-1988. The PATH to Care Center can be reached at 510-642-1988. A survivor can make use of confidential resources at any time, regardless of whether the event has been reported to the Title IX office or other authorities. For more information about PATH to Care and other survivor support services at UC Berkeley, see the Addressing Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment website.

Any person may report incidents of sexual violence, sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, or other forms of prohibited behavior to the campus Title IX office, which is named Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). Contact OPHD either by emailing or by leaving a voicemail at 510-643-7985.

Reports to law enforcement can be made to UC Berkeley’s police department (UCPD) for on-campus incidents or to the local department where the crime occurred. A confidential advocate from PATH to Care or UCPD staff can help determine which police department to contact. In an emergency, dial 911, or to reach UCPD’s emergency line call 510-642-3333. Reports to UCPD can be made in person at 1 Sproul Hall, or by phone through the non-emergency line at 510-642-6760.