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NIH Conference Safety Requirements

The National Institute of Health (NIH) requires that organizers of NIH-supported conferences and scientific meetings take steps to maintain a safe and respectful environment for all attendees by providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment.

Effective for R13/U13 applications submitted for the April 12, 2022 application due date and thereafter, all applicants recommended for funding must provide to NIH as part of Just-In-Time materials:

  • the “safety plan” that will be communicated to all conference/meeting attendees. “Safety plans” are required to include certain elements, as described in Notice Number NOT-OD-22-074.
  • a description of the strategy that will be used to communicate the Safety Plan to conference attendees
  • a plan to document allegations and resulting actions.
  • information on the steps the organizers will take to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all attendees, free from discrimination and harassment


NIH staff will review all plans and must approve them prior to the award being made. Plans that are deemed incomplete or unsatisfactory will need to be corrected by the applicant and approved by NIH prior to award.

At MSU, the policy prohibiting sexual harassment and assault is the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Policy. The policy prohibiting other forms of discrimination and harassment is the Anti-Discrimination Policy.

The following message complies with the NIH requirements for a “Safety Plan” that must be communicated to all conference/meeting attendees for NIH-supported conferences, symposia, workshops, or any other organized and formal meeting hosted by MSU, including those conducted virtually.

Dear Conference/Symposium/Workshop Participant:

Michigan State University (“MSU”) is committed to providing a safe environment, free of harassment and discrimination. Participants in MSU programs and activities (including this event) must comply with MSU’s Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Policy and Anti-Discrimination Policy. Please review the following information regarding MSU’s non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, as well as how to report any violations of these policies, how to make a complaint, and how any complaints will be resolved.

MSU can provide supportive measures and other resources with or without the filing of a formal complaint. Confidential resources, including the MSU Center for Survivors, are available to assist those who have experienced sexual harassment or sexual violence. In an emergency, please dial 911. Non-emergency reports to law enforcement can be made to the MSU Department of Police and Public Safety for on-campus incidents (517- 355-2221) or to the local police department where the incident occurred.

Michigan State University Notice of Non-Discrimination, Anti-Harassment and Non-Retaliation

Michigan State University prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, gender, gender identity, disability, height, marital status, political persuasion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or weight in its programs and activities. MSU also prohibits retaliation against those who report discrimination or harassment, or who participate in the University’s investigation and handling of such reports. MSU independently investigates allegations of retaliation and will take strong responsive actions if retaliation occurs.

Some examples of harassing behaviors may be:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors;
  • Unwelcome comments or behavior, including but not limited to drawings, written statements, social media posts, or verbal statements, related to an individual’s race, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, gender, gender identity, disability, height, marital status, political persuasion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or weight
  • Unwelcome teasing, joking, or flirting based on actual or perceived gender identity, gender expression, or sexual identity/orientation


Any student, employee, patient or third party who believes he or she has been discriminated against or harassed is encouraged to report the incident(s) to the University’s Office of Institutional Equity (“OIE”). The University will respond promptly, including by offering supportive measures, informing parties about the available complaint and investigation processes, and taking reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct discrimination or harassment.

MSU’s Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Policy provides the grievance process for complaints alleging sexual harassment as defined by Title IX, as well as prohibited relationship violence, sexual misconduct, stalking and retaliation.  The Anti-Discrimination Policy and the Anti-Discrimination Policy User’s Manual provide the grievance procedure for complaints alleging all other forms of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. OIE is responsible for receiving reports of discrimination, harassment or retaliation, and facilitating the filing of complaints under these policies, connecting affected individuals with supportive measures, accommodations, interim measures and other assistive resources, and for conducting investigations of alleged violations of both policies.

MSU is committed to conducting prompt and equitable investigations and will appropriately address violations of University policy. Upon completion of an investigation, students and employees found to have engaged in acts of harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be promptly disciplined. If circumstances warrant, discipline for MSU students or employees may include suspension, expulsion, or termination and corrective action may be pursued related to individuals who are not MSU students or employees.

Any person may report discrimination, harassment or retaliation in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, using the links and contact information listed below. Reports may be made at any time (including during non-business hours) by using the telephone number, email, online reporting form, or by mail to the OIE address, listed below. Reports may be submitted in person at the OIE Office during business hours or by appointment if after business hours.

Office of Institutional Equity
408 W. Circle Dr., Suite 4, Olds Hall
East Lansing MI 48824
(517) 353-3922
Public Incident Reporting Form

Questions about MSU’s non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies may be referred to MSU’s Office for Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance.

Individuals may also notify NIH ( or (301) 480-6701) or file a complaint with HHS OCR at the address below about concerns of harassment, including sexual harassment, discrimination, and other forms of inappropriate conduct at NIH-supported conferences.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Room 509F, HHH Building
Washington, D.C. 20201

1-800-368-1019, 800-537-7697 (TDD)

Filing a complaint with MSU is not required before filing a complaint of discrimination with HHS OCR, and seeking assistance from MSU in no way prohibits filing complaints with HHS OCR.

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