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NSF Launches Outreach Effort to Help Shape the USAP Sexual Assault/Harassment Prevention and Response Program

October 12, 2021

NSF has established Agency-wide policies and requirements to help ensure research environments are free from sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other forms of harassment. At the same time, NSF realizes that the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) is a unique research environment, with participants from a wide variety of institutions and backgrounds. With the recognition that more work is needed to develop a robust Sexual Assault/Harassment Prevention and Response (SAHPR) program to support the entire deployed community, regardless of affiliation, NSF is launching an extensive outreach effort consisting of an online survey and a series of focus groups to gather feedback that will guide efforts going forward.

“USAP participants were clear in their calls for NSF to do more, and so it is vital that we hear from them directly on the tools and resources that would be most impactful,” said Stephanie Short, who manages Antarctic operations for NSF’s Office of Polar Programs (OPP). The survey and focus groups are voluntary; participants are encouraged to share their thoughts and experiences. 

NSF is partnering with the Department of the Interior’s Federal Consulting Group (FCG) and their contracted team of experts at LDSS Corporation, Alteristic, Inc., and the Victim Rights Law Center (VRLC).  LDSS will soon send an online survey to the email address OPP has on file for current USAP participants, as well as those who have deployed with the program within the last three years. Additionally, some individuals will also be invited to participate in targeted focus groups. All email communications will be sent from


This data collection is authorized by law (42 U.S.C. 1862 Section 3.a.6.). The OMB control number for this study is 3145-0260


The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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