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Project Information

Project Information

Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education

Project Scope:


The 2018 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report on Sexual Harassment of Women concludes that system-wide changes to the culture and climate in higher education are needed to prevent and address sexual harassment, and provides a roadmap for institutions of higher education to make these changes. To advance these efforts, the National Academies have joined with over 40 colleges, universities, and research institutions to launch an Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education. The purpose of the Action Collaborative is to bring together leaders from academic institutions and key stakeholders to work toward targeted, collective action on addressing and preventing sexual harassment across all disciplines and among all people in higher education. The action collaborative creates an active space where colleges, universities, and other research and training institutions will identify, research, develop, and implement efforts that move beyond basic legal compliance to evidence-based policies and practices for addressing and preventing all forms of sexual harassment and promoting a campus climate of civility and respect. The Action Collaborative will address sexual harassment experienced by all people in higher education and will deal with the issue in the context of other damaging behaviors including bullying, incivility, and other forms of harassment that occur across all campus settings and at all levels of the institutional hierarchy. The Action Collaborative is tasked with four main goals:

  • Raise awareness about sexual harassment, its consequences, and the approaches for addressing and preventing it
  • Share and elevate evidence-based policies and strategies for reducing and preventing sexual harassment
  • Contribute to setting a shared research agenda for this work, and gather and apply research results across institutions
  • Develop a standard for measuring progress toward reducing and preventing sexual harassment in higher education

Role of the National Academies

Guided by the initial roadmap created by the 2018 report, the National Academies will serve as a neutral convener and will support and facilitate the work of the Action Collaborative by:

  • Holding annual meetings for members to learn from each other as well as from experts and key stakeholders
  • Convening and holding public workshops involving the broader higher education community, key stakeholders, and experts for the purpose of sharing and advancing innovative ideas and successful practices for preventing sexual harassment
  • Organizing the members of the Action Collaborative into working groups that will identify promising practices within and beyond their institutions; engage and learn from those doing work and developing new approaches; and work to address any on-the-ground barriers, unintended consequences, and challenges that arise in working to implement promising strategies and best practices
  • Sharing publicly the promising practices, resources, tools, research, and lessons learned from the work of the Action Collaborative members

Expectation of Members

This Action Collaborative is convened in the spirit of collaboration to develop promising practices, share communications strategies and resources, speak with a collective voice, and motivate real action to address and prevent sexual harassment across higher education. Each member of the Action Collaborative commits to develop new approaches to address the problem from a preventative orientation; to implement and test new or revised programs, policies, and practices each year; to share the results from these new or revised approaches each year; and to identify and engage a group of additional individuals at the institution who can assist and inform this work (these individuals are expected to include experts, researchers, key stakeholders, and individuals with job responsibilities related to issues of sexual harassment).

Status: Current

PIN: PGA-CWSE-19-P-164

RSO: Benya, Frazier F


Behavioral and Social Sciences
Policy for Science and Technology

Geographic Focus:
North America

Committee Membership

Committee Membership

No data present.



University of Washington Husky Union Building
4001 E Stevens Way NE
Seattle, WA, 98195

Event Type :  

Description :   

Sexual Harassment in higher education is pervasive, harmful, and costly. This has been emphasized by brave women recounting their experiences and by the findings in our recent report on the Sexual Harassment of Women. So let’s get to work developing and implementing approaches that can prevent and address sexual harassment. To learn about promising approaches and innovative ideas or to share ideas about how to prevent and address sexual harassment, join us for the First Annual Summit hosted by the National Academies’ Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education.  

This Summit aims to identify and elevate promising practices for preventing sexual harassment in higher education. Through a combination of plenary sessions, panel discussions, and concurrent sessions, this day-and-a-half event will serve as an opportunity for members of the Action Collaborative and the broader higher education community to gather information, engage in a dialogue, and gain diverse perspectives on how to effectively prevent sexual harassment. Topics covered at the Summit will include:

  • Tackling and Preventing Incivility and Gender Harassment
  • Reintegrating Targets into Research and Academic Spaces: During and After an Investigation
  • Taking into Account the Sexual Harassment Experiences of Individuals with Intersecting Identities
  • Supporting Targets and Preventing Retaliation
  • Addressing the Broader Harms of Sexual Harassment: A Community Perspective
  • Creative Solutions for Reducing the Power Differential between Advisors and Trainees
  • Approaches for Evaluating and Researching how Response Systems are Working for Targets
  • Building Bridges between Academic Institutions and Professional/Scientific Societies
  • Transparency in Communicating Findings of Responsibility and Administrative Action
  • Working Collectively to Tackle the “Pass the Harasser” Problem
  • And more!

Call for Poster Proposals: We welcome you to join us in-person or virtually through an interactive webcast. We also welcome faculty, students, staff, and others to submit proposals for posters on promising and innovative practices to address and prevent sexual harassment in higher education. Space is limited and the deadline to submit your poster abstract for consideration is October 4. Submit your poster abstract. Detailed guidelines for the poster session may be found in the link below. 

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) are committed to the principles of diversity, integrity, civility, and respect in all of our activities. We look to you to be a partner in this commitment by helping us to maintain a professional and cordial environment. All forms of discrimination, harassment, and bullying are prohibited in any NASEM activity. This commitment applies to all participants in all settings and locations in which NASEM work and activities are conducted, including committee meetings, workshops, conferences, and other work and social functions where employees, volunteers, sponsors, vendors, or guests are present.

NASEM Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying: 

If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Frazier Benya
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-3087

Supporting File(s)
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Some sessions are open and some sessions are closed

Publication(s) resulting from the event:




No data present.