Safe & Inclusive Off-Campus Workplace Environments
NSF Safe and Inclusive Work Environment Plan for Off Campus or Off-Site Research
The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced in 2023 that, effective January 30, 2023, if a Principal Investigator (PI) submits a new or renewal proposal, the NSF will require the PI to take an additional step when engaging in off-campus and/or off-site research activities. Please see NSF Safe and Inclusive Working Environments.
NSF’s new requirement states that there must be a plan for a safe and inclusive environment created, and distributed in advance to everyone who will participate in an off-campus or off-site research activity prior to those individuals leaving campus to engage in the off-campus/off-site research. NSF defines off-campus or off-site research as data, information, samples being collected off-campus or off-site, such as fieldwork and research activities on vessels and aircraft. Please refer to NSF Proposal and Award Policies & Procedures Guide or PAPPG, Chapter II.D.1.d(viii) and II.3.9 for additional information.
The creation and distribution of the plan is the responsibility of the PI. However, to ease the administrative burden, the Office of Academic Research has prepared a template plan (attached) for PIs to use. Please note:
1. PI should not submit the plan to NSF for review unless specifically requested in the program solicitation.
2. PI should determine if a proposed research includes any off-campus or off-site research as defined by NSF.
3. PIs are responsible for maintaining and retaining a copy of the plan, as well as documentation of who received the plan (email confirmation, signup sheet, etc.) in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) file, Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) file, or in PI or departmental grant files. These records are subject to the same retention schedule as other grant-related administrative records.
4. Plans may be re-used and re-distributed for multiple off-campus research activities but must be updated, as appropriate, to each specific grant proposal.
5. For purposes of compliance with NSF’s new requirement, the following are not considered off-campus or off-site research for purposes of this requirement:
- Meetings and conferences that do not include data/information/samples being collected
- Data/information/samples collected by subrecipients or collaborating organizations at their primary place of performance
6. Determinations about plan requirements must be based on the location and nature of the activities; this assessment is independent of the F&A rate determination which is based on where the preponderance of the work is performed.
Commitment to Safe and Inclusive Research Environments
California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) and University Enterprises Corporation at CSUSB (UEC), or collectively “University” take Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation (DHR), Title IX, sexual misconduct and Whistleblower very seriously. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, verbal harassment (e.g., epithets, derogatory comments, or slurs), physical harassment (e.g., assault, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work or movement), and visual forms of harassment (e.g., derogatory posters, cartoons, drawings, symbols, or gestures.). Although a single, isolated incident will typically be insufficient to rise to the level of harassment, every individual who believe that they have experienced discrimination, harassment, any form of abuse or violence, stalking or retaliation are encouraged to report the behavior so they can secure the support they need, and the University may respond appropriately. University’s goal is to provide the campus community with education, awareness, reporting options and meaningful assistance. Information on University’s Institutional Equity and Compliance policy and procedures can be found at: https://www.csusb.edu/institutional-equity-compliance, https://www.csusb.edu/human-resources and the UEC employee handbook. These policies apply to any university program or externally-funded sponsored program, including programs that take place off-campus or in the field or on an online platform (e.g., Zoom).
For any questions or if you require additional information concerning this NSF requirement, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Safe and Inclusive Work Environments Plan Memo
- Template: Project Specific Plan for Safe and Inclusive Work Environments