NIH Anti-Harassment Program
Information about NIH resources to guide and support you, should you experience or witness harassment, bullying, or inappropriate behavior.
On this page
About the program
We want all members of the NIH community to find psychological safety and respect in their work group and beyond. Therefore, it is critical that you fully understand the NIH Anti-Harassment Policy and know where to turn with questions and concerns.
We partner closely with the NIH Civil Branch to provide you with guidance and support if you feel you have experienced or witnessed harassment, bullying, or inappropriate behavior. We appreciate that hierarchy, and fear of retaliation, can make trainees hesitant to report harassment and bullying behavior and are here to help.
To be sure that you fully understand the NIH Anti-Harassment Program and know where to turn for guidance and support, you must:
- Complete online Anti-Harassment training (No FEAR/POSH) within 90-days of starting at NIH and then annually each Fall
- Attend the OITE webinar “Your Rights and Responsibilities as an Intramural Trainee” within two-months of starting your NIH appointment.
Know who can help
The NIH Civil Branch coordinates the NIH Anti-Harassment Program. You may report harassment, bullying, or inappropriate conduct that you experienced or witnessed by reaching out directly to NIH Civil:
- During normal business hours, call the NIH Civil Branch, 301-402-4845
- During normal business hours, call the Anti-Harassment hotline, 833-224-3829
- Email a report
- Report via a webform
Trainees and fellows are encouraged to consult with the OITE Director, who can advise you and make reports on your behalf. Appreciate that sometimes, we must assure that you are safe and take quick action; however, we will work closely with you to explore options and can make anonymous reports on your behalf. For more information, you can download the Civil Toolkit for Trainees (PDF).
Regardless of how you make a report to Civil, know that OITE and Civil will coordinate closely to assure that you have the support you need throughout the process.
If you are not sure about what you experienced and would like to discuss your concerns with an office that operates under principles of confidentiality and is not required to act, please call:
What if it is not harassment or bullying, but I still have concerns?
While some behaviors do not rise to the level of harassment or bullying, they may interfere with your NIH training experience. This may include issues with colleagues, your daily supervisor, the PI of your research group, or others on the NIH campus.
We appreciate that it can be difficult to know where to turn with questions or concerns about these types of issues. If you feel comfortable, speak directly with the people involved or consult your daily supervisor and/or the PI in your group. However, we appreciate that hierarchy in research groups can be a barrier to open communication; therefore, we provide other sources of guidance and support including:
We recommend that you first seek guidance within your institute, but if that is not comfortable for you, or you still have concerns after seeking guidance there, please reach out to OITE at OITE-private@NIH.gov. We will work with you and provide referrals to support you in resolving issues professionally and amicably.
More resources and support
NIH Office of Equity Diversity and Inclusion
Promotes equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and oversees the discrimination complaints process in collaboration with NIH Civil.
NIH Division of Police
Protects the NIH community with a presence on all NIH campuses.
NIH Office of the Ombudsman
A confidential resource for discussing work relationships with the goal of supporting efficient and collaborative scientific research.
OITE Trainee Well-being
Supports the well-being of NIH trainees and fellows through individual consultations focused on all aspects of the NIH trainee/fellow experience.
Employee Assistance Program
Provides short-term supportive counseling to enhance personal and professional wellbeing of NIH staff.