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For each National Science Foundation (NSF) proposal that includes plans to conduct research off-campus or off-site, there must be a plan in place for that proposal that describes how certain behaviors (see below) will be addressed and plans for an inclusive work environment.

To comply with this. requirement, the University of Utah (UU) requires that:
  1. Each PI of a NSF proposal determine whether any off-campus or off-site research is involved in the proposal.

  2. If applicable, the PI must develop a plan, at the proposal stage, for each off-campus or off-site location using the UU template. The PI must upload the plan/s into eProposal prior to the proposal submission by OSP.  Plans may be reused and re-distributed for multiple off-campus research activities but must be updated if the specific content needs to change.
    • Some NSF solicitations require that proposers who include off-campus or off-site research as part of their project submit, as supplementary documentation, a Plan for Safe and Inclusive Working Environments. The UU template (below) should be used to draft the plan uploaded into

      PI's need to be sure the plan is compelling, adequately addresses the unique challenges for the team, and the organizational mechanisms used for reporting, responding to, and resolving issues of harassment, should they occur, are clearly outlined.

      Plans uploaded into, when required by NSF, are limited to 2 pages and need to follow NSF's PAPPG 23-1 standard content instructions and the additional proposal preparation instructions in the opportunity/solicitation. 

    • The plan should only be submitted to NSF when/if requested or required by NSF.

  3. For Subaward and Collaborative Proposal:
    • If the UU is a subaward recipient on an NSF funded project with off-campus/off-site research, UU does not require UU's PI to complete a plan. UU will rely on the lead institution to provide and implement the plan.

    • For collaborative proposals, each institution is responsible for their own plan with regard to any off-campus or off-site performance their organization is facilitating.

  4. Prior to an applicable NSF award being setup by OSP, a copy of the plan will need to be uploaded into eAward 

  5. The PI disseminates the plan to each individual participating in the off-campus or off-site activities, prior to departure or involvement in those activities.

  6. The PI retain documentation of who received the plan (email or sign up sheet is sufficient).

Access the Plan Template

Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus or Off-Site Research

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, gro, 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: 

  1. 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 
  2. Conduct that is unwelcome, offensive, indecent, obscene, or disorderly. 

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 communication 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. 

*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 and aircraft.

PAPPG 23-1 II-E.9

Last Updated: 3/7/24