Frequently Asked Questions

What is the NIH Workplace Civility and Equity Survey?

The NIH Workplace Civility and Equity Survey has been built in partnership with OHR, EDI, and UNITE to assess the workplace climate and identify the prevalence of harassment and discrimination at NIH. The survey will be conducted once every three years and the results will help inform strategies towards an inclusive, diverse, and harassment-free NIH workplace.

When and by whom will the survey be administered?

The survey is being administered to all eligible NIH federal employees, trainees, volunteers, and participating contractors by the Office of Human Resources. To support this survey, Westat has been contracted by NIH to distribute the survey, collect responses, and present aggregated survey responses back to NIH. The survey will be administered in November 2022.

Who is eligible to take the survey?

NIH federal employees, trainees, volunteers, and participating contractors onboarded on or before May 1, 2022.

How should contractors respond to the survey questions?

Contractors participating in this survey should respond to questions in the context of interactions with NIH staff associated with their NIH work. This survey is not a means to evaluate contractor performance or the work environment of contracting companies.

How will I receive the survey?

The NIH Workplace Civility and Equity Survey is a web-based survey, and eligible staff will receive an email invitation from the NIH Workplace CES Team containing a unique link to the survey. Staff who have not completed the survey will also receive email reminders with their personalized survey link. Invitations to complete the survey will come from the NIH Workplace CES Team with the following heading:

From: NIHWorkplaceCES@mail.nih.gov
Subject: 2022 NIH Workplace Civility and Equity Survey

How often will the survey be done?

The survey is to be conducted once every three years.

How long does it take to complete the survey?

You should be able to complete the survey in approximately 10-15 minutes.

What types of questions will the survey ask?

The NIH Workplace Civility and Equity Survey asks questions about your personal experience with harassment and discrimination over the past 12 months. Some may find these questions uncomfortable or unsettling. For information on who to contact for support, or to learn more about making a formal complaint of harassment or discrimination, please visit our Resources page.

How do I know that my responses will remain confidential?

Your responses will be given an anonymous code that will prevent them from being linked to your name, email address or other personal information. This means that any identifiable information will not be accessible by NIH or its staff. To support this survey, Westat, a research firm in Rockville, MD, has been contracted by NIH to distribute the survey, collect responses, and present aggregated survey responses back to NIH.

What will be done with the results?

This survey has been designed to provide each IC with actionable results. Similar to the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, aggregated responses will be available at the sub-organization level to allow all levels of the organization to take action.

Is the survey voluntary?

Yes, the survey is voluntary, but participation is encouraged and valued. You can stop at any time, refuse to participate without penalty, or skip any questions that make you feel uncomfortable. We use your input to gauge the organizational culture and civility at NIH, to include the prevalence and severity of harassment and discrimination. The survey will also help identify elements of NIH organizational climate that will provide opportunities for targeted prevention or mitigation strategies. Please help us ensure that the NIH excels at providing a safe, effective, and engaging workplace for all our staff by participating in the survey.

Is the survey 508 compliant?

Yes, the survey has been tested with various widely used assistive technologies and is compliant with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Communications Act. However, if you experience technical issues specific to an assistive technology while completing the survey, please email NIHWorkplaceCES@mail.nih.gov.

May I pass/forward the survey on to someone else to take?

No, each link to the survey is unique and can only be used once. Please do not forward your link to any individuals or groups, because after the survey has been completed by one person, the link will no longer allow you to access the survey.

What should I do if I mistakenly delete my survey email invitation?

If you delete your invitation, please email NIHWorkplaceCES@mail.nih.gov for assistance.

Who/what are the some of the terms referring to (e.g., organization and management)?

Please visit the Key Terms and Definitions page.

What do I do if I encounter technical difficulties in receiving or completing the survey?

If the personalized link enclosed in your individual email does not take you directly to the survey, copy and paste the link into the address bar of your web browser. You may also try to manually type in the link as well. If you still are unable to access the survey, please email NIHWorkplaceCES@mail.nih.gov or your IC Coordinator.

What is the difference between this survey and the 2019 NIH Workplace Climate and Harassment Survey?

The 2019 NIH Workplace Climate and Harassment Survey was administered by the NIH Chief Office of Scientific Workforce Diversity as a research study. The survey effort has since shifted to the NIH Office of Human Resources as an ongoing initiative to be administered every three years starting in 2022. The subject matter of the 2022 NIH Workplace Civility and Equity survey has been broadened from the 2019 version to address not only workplace climate and harassment, but also discrimination and structural racism. Additionally, rather than reporting just at NIH and IC levels, the 2022 survey will provide reporting for any organization with seven or more responses.

Can I use the survey to report harassment or discrimination in my workplace?

No. The survey is not considered a formal reporting avenue, and because the survey is anonymous, we have no way to know who has submitted specific information. For information on who to contact for support, or to learn more about making a formal complaint of harassment or discrimination, please visit our Resources page.

Where can I find more information about the survey?

For questions or to learn more about the NIH Workplace Civility and Equity Survey, please email NIHWorkplaceCES@mail.nih.gov.

POC: Sara Mills, NIH Workplace Civility and Equity Survey Program Manager

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