Forum for tackling bullying and harassment

The Forum for Tackling Bullying and Harassment in Research and Innovation brings together funding, policy and regulatory organisations, both in the UK and internationally.

The forum is a place for discussion, challenge and action, with all attending organisations committing to collective change for tackling bullying and harassment.

The forum works to tackle and prevent bullying and harassment by collectively and collaboratively convening organisations and people, to galvanise cultural change and create healthy and safe world-class research and innovation environments.

It will do this through open discussion, sharing with and challenging the research and innovation sector.

Currently chaired by UK Research and Innovation, the forum meets quarterly to consider issues. It draws on members’ ongoing work and priorities and other issues raised by our communities. This includes those who may not at present have a chance to engage with policymakers and funders.

The forum first met in January 2021.

Aims of the forum

The forum aims to support system-level change by collaboratively working to explore, understand and share learnings and knowledge of practices for tackling bullying and harassment across the research and innovation landscape.

It wants to make bullying and harassment no longer an issue in the research and innovation sector by driving culture and environmental change across the system.

It has 3 objectives.

  1. Lead and set the strategic direction of the research and innovation sector in preventing and tackling bullying and harassment at a system level, by sharing and disseminating learning and best practice from across the research and innovation sector, nationally and internationally.
  2. Be an authority on tackling bullying and harassment across the research and innovation sector. As a forum we will do this by identifying opportunities to collaborate and work consistently across the sector, targeting areas for action.
  3. Identify opportunities for alignment of policies to work towards reducing bureaucracy and to focus on facilitating and creating healthy research and innovation cultures and environments that people can trust and where they can be safe.

Forum membership

Forum membership is reviewed annually. The membership is currently under review. The forum members as of October 2022 are as follows:

  • Association of Research Managers and Administrators
  • British Academy
  • British Heart Foundation
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Department for the Economy Northern Ireland
  • GuildHE
  • Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
  • National Institute for Health Research
  • Office for Students
  • Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Royal Society
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Scottish Funding Council
  • Universities and Colleges Employers Association
  • Universities UK
  • Wellcome

Observers and guests are able to join the group to provide expert opinions on discussion topics. The group also engages with a wide range of sector groups and stakeholders.

The following regularly attend as observers of the forum:

  • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Department for Health and Social Care
  • Leverhulme Trust
  • National Science Foundation
  • University and College Union

The following organisations regularly attend the forum:

  • 1752 group
  • Association for Medical Research Charities
  • Institute of Physics

The forum is keen to hear from those in creative industries and disciplines, arts, humanities and social sciences sectors, as well as commercial knowledge centres, enterprises and the charitable sector.

Organisations who wish to work with the forum, in particular from these sectors, are invited to contact the chair by email: equality@ukri.org.

Engaging with the forum

The forum is committed to openness and transparency in its work. We recognise that avenues of communication within the sector are not always clear. That is why as a forum we encourage individuals to get in touch and discuss innovative viewpoints and suggestions regarding tackling bullying and harassment in the research and innovation sector.

We also encourage individuals to get in touch with us to suggest how the forum itself can be more transparent, representative and support engagement with the sector. Members, observers and the public are invited to bring topics for discussion to the forum.

If you would like to discuss ways of working with the forum and routes of communication, you are invited to contact the chair by email: equality@ukri.org.

Read summaries of the discussions at previous forum meetings, including high-level actions and attendance lists.

Further information

The forum is not a regulatory nor a whistleblowing institution and will not pursue individual cases.

The forum is developing its brand and communication lines. For further information about the forum, please contact equality@ukri.org.

Last updated: 21 November 2022

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