Safe & Inclusive Fieldwork

NSF PSI-FVAR Resources & Guidance

NSF Requirement: Safe & Inclusive Research Plan

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (“UMCES”) aspires to cultivating a transformative educational, scholarly, and professional experience for all members of its campus community while safeguarding their personal health and well-being. UMCES is committed to addressing harassment in all forms and fostering a safe and healthy work environment.

These values align with the NSF policy described in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (NSF 23-1) to foster safe and harassment-free environments wherever science is conducted. The NSF policy requires that the University have a plan in place to address certain behaviors should they occur while off-campus or off-site research is conducted. 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. For additional information, including which NSF programs currently require this plan, please check the NSF FAQs

Grantees are required to certify that UMCES has a project-specific plan in place that addresses:

  1. Abuse of any person, including by not limited to harassment, stalking, bullying, or hazing of any kind, whether the behavior is carried out verbally, physically, electronically, or in written form; and
  2. Conduct that is unwelcome, offensive, obscene, or disorderly.

PIs are responsible for preparing the plan and completing the certification form below for each proposal that proposes to conduct research off-campus or off-site. This form and the plan need to be attached to the proposal in Kuali Research, so that ORAA can provide the signed certification and submit the proposal to NSF. A copy of the plan must be provided to each member of the research team prior to their participation in the off-campus work.

This process is required for NSF proposals submitted on or after January 30, 2023. The NSF Safety & Inclusion certification form and plan attachment are in addition to any post-submission or pre-award lab/safety compliance review recorded in KR via the compliance tab. 

Key Policies and Guidance

The following is a partial list of applicable the University System of Maryland (USM) and UMCES (Institutional) Policies & Guidance. 

USM Policies & Guidance   UMCES Policy & Guidance
VI-1.60 Policy on Sexual Misconduct   VI-1.60 UMCES Policy and Procedure on Sexual Misconduct
VII-8.05 Policy on Professional Conduct and Workplace Bullying    UMCES HR Grievance Form
 VI-1.00 Policy on Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity.   Ombuds Program Information (TBD)
VII-2.10 Policy on Employment of Members of the Same Family (Nepotism)   Employee Assistance Program
    UMCES Principles of Conduct


UMCES is taking the following steps to promote a safe and inclusive culture:

  1. Campus supported training addressing issues related to sexual harassment and sexual violence;
  2. Provided resources to help create a healthy climate to prevent hostile and intimidating behavior;
  3. Make USM and UMCES policies and procedures available; and
  4. Implement policies and procedures for addressing prohibited behaviors which describe processes for incident reporting and resolution.

UMCES Safety and Inclusion Plan Certification Form
UMCES PI Plan template