Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Some Steps

The US National Institutes of Health has apologized after internal reviews criticized its handling of sexual harassment and says it will do better in addressing the issue, the Huffington Post reports.

"To all those who have endured these experiences, we are sorry that it has taken so long to acknowledge and address the climate and culture that has caused such harm," the agency says in a statement. "We are concerned that NIH has been part of the problem. We are determined to become part of the solution."

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine issued a report last June that found that many efforts aimed at handling sexual harassment in the sciences were ineffectual. NIH Director Francis Collins wrote in September that he was "disheartened" to read the National Academies report and said that NIH would be updating its sexual harassment policy and making it easier to report such harassment to the agency.

In a new statement, Collins and other agency leaders write that internal conversations they've had have "made it abundantly clear that NIH needs to do better." While the agency leaders say a working group focused on ending sexual harassment will report its interim findings in June and final ones in December, they add that in the meantime they will be clarifying to institutes and researchers what constitutes a safe workplace, provide a clear way to communicate with the agency, and show it is being accountable and transparent. They further add that they would be listening to people who have experienced sexual harassment and incorporating their perspectives.