CRUK will cut funding to researchers proved to be bullying

The charity's new policy reserves the right to reject grant funding applications if participants have bullied or harassed, or ask for the person to be removed from the programme

Cancer research (Photograph: Getty Images)
Cancer research (Photograph: Getty Images)

Cancer Research UK has said it will cut funding to researchers who have been found to have been bullying or harassing others.

The new policy says the charity reserves the right to reject grant funding applications as a result of bullying or harassment carried out by participants or ask that the bully be removed from the programme CRUK is being asked to fund.

Grant applicants must also reveal whether anyone named on the application has been the subject of disciplinary sanctions or warnings for bullying or harassment.

Any researchers in a CRUK-funded programme about whom complaints are made must also be reported to the charity.

CRUK’s policy says that the charity could take action against anyone who is proven to have been involved in bullying or harassment, even if they have already been punished by the organisation they work for.

Institutional failures by organisations receiving CRUK funding could also lead to sanctions from the charity, the policy says.

The charity will not itself investigate any complaints against researchers working for other organisations, and said it would reserve any judgement until the investigation was completed.

The policy will also apply to speakers at CRUK research events and anyone sitting on the charity’s panels or committees.

The policy says that all institutions funded by CRUK must have effective workplace conduct policies in place.

Such a policy should include taking "reasonable steps" to implement the policy effectively and to build a positive working culture for employees, the charity said.

Information about the policies and processes in place at a CRUK-funded partner institution will also be requested by the charity as part of its regular audits.

Dr Iain Foulkes, executive director of research and innovation at CRUK, said: "Our new policy clarifies our expectations in relation to inappropriate behaviour and now forms part of our grant conditions.

"We want our researchers to feel supported in fulfilling their potential in positive research environments and, importantly, to feel able to speak up if behaviour is inappropriate. Only by treating one another with dignity and respect can we deliver research of the highest quality and achieve our goal of beating cancer."

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