NIH Requires Awardees to Institute ‘Behavioral Codes’
Under NIH’s new grants policy statement (GPS), “institutions receiving NIH support will now be required to have internal controls to assure compliance with terms and conditions of award,” including “behavioral codes of conduct to assure safe and healthful working conditions for their employees and foster work environments conducive to high-quality research,” as Michael Lauer, NIH deputy director for extramural research, recently wrote on his Open Mike blog.
“We previously established our own code of conduct for NIH staff. Codes of conduct define what is expected for staff to maintain professional behaviors, integrity, and ethical values when conducting NIH-supported research”—which can be found at https://policymanual.nih.gov/1311—Lauer wrote on Dec. 29. The updated GPS applies to awards issued as of Oct. 1, 2022, the start of fiscal year 2023. Referring to specific parts of the document, the GPS states that “recipient organizations are expected to establish codes of conduct which define expectations of integrity and ethical values and criteria of competence of personnel involved in the work supported by NIH grant funds. Codes of conduct should articulate expectations to assure compliance with terms and conditions of award, including but not limited to, providing true, complete, and accurate information on application documents (126.96.36.199); assuring work environments are free of discriminatory harassment and are safe and conducive to high-quality work (4); and meeting applicable public policy requirements (4.1).”