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The Forum for Tackling Bullying and Harassment was launched in November 2020, following calls for action on the issue in the sector.

The forum is a free standing group, comprising a range of organisations with an interest in research and innovation in the UK. We work across research and innovation, with many organisations, groups, and bodies.

Terms of reference and remit

The Forum for Tackling Bullying and Harassment (FTBH) was originally founded by a small number of funding organisations, representative bodies and regulators operating within the broader research and innovation sector in the UK. The forum has since grown to include representation from over 30 organisations.


The forum is a place for discussion, challenge and action, with all member organisations committing to collective change for tackling bullying and harassment. The forum aims to drive culture and environmental change across the system, through open discussion, sharing and challenge of the current research and innovation sector.

As an individual on the forum, you represent your own organisation. However, the forum encourages that each attendee takes on a proportion of responsibility, ownership and accountability on behalf of the collective forum.


Find out more about the aims and objectives of the FTBH.

Organisations involved in the forum have differing scales of activity and stages of policy development on bullying and harassment. The forum reflects this in its operations.

The forum is primarily accountable to its individual member organisations and their constituents, and will advocate for joint interests as agreed between members.

Key activities

The forum:

  • is a sector voice sharing perspectives and experiences in relation to tackling bullying and harassment in the research and innovation sectors
  • provides an environment to consider and develop thinking about policy and strategy for bullying and harassment within the R&I sectors, including working on longstanding challenges and operating at the forefront of change
  • provides advice and guidance on the high-level design and implementation of policies and processes in relation to bullying and harassment, including advising on commissioning of research
  • acts as a ‘critical friend’ to contribute to wider related policies such as prevention of harm and safeguarding or equality, diversity and inclusion
  • works alongside and share relevant information with other cross-sector groups, such as the grant funders policy group, UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR), Athena Forum and others

Meeting functions

The forum holds four two-hour meetings per year. The meetings are organised and hosted by the Secretariat. Where appropriate, the forum discusses issues by correspondence between formal meetings.

Each meeting includes regular updates from members and observers in addition to providing a platform for members and observers to suggest agenda items.

All agenda items should be suggested to the Chair and Deputy Chair through engagement with the Secretariat at least one month before the meeting at which the item will be discussed.

The forum might wish to engage with researchers, other forums or organisations that can join the forum as a guest to present a discussion topic and invite open discussion with the forum.

The forum can agree to establish working groups to consider issues in more detail.

Organisation roles

The forum has an appointed Chair and Deputy Chair, which serve terms of up to three calendar years. On rotation, the Chair and Deputy Chair will be elected by the forum based on expressions of interest from forum members.


Members may send deputies with the prior agreement of the Chair to the forum meeting to represent their organisation in their absence.

Meeting minutes

August 2023 meeting minutes (PDF)

May 2023 meeting minutes (PDF)

March 2023 meeting minutes (PDF)

October 2022 meeting minutes (PDF)

July 2022 meeting minutes (PDF)

April 2022 meeting minutes (PDF)

February 2022 meeting minutes (PDF)

October 2021 meeting minutes (PDF)

July 2021 meeting minutes (PDF)

April 2021 meeting minutes (PDF)

January 2021 meeting minutes (PDF)