Where do you draw the line?

Where do you draw the line? is a harassment prevention approach collaboratively developed by UCL, University of Cambridge, University of Manchester and University of Oxford.


It begins with the proposition that harassment in contemporary academia is more commonplace and widespread than we would like to admit. Going further, recent journalistic investigations have suggested that it is a systemic problem in universities. [1] For example, in a recent study of fieldwork, 18% of junior female scientists reported having been sexually harassed, while 59% had experienced inappropriate comments with much of the harassment perpetrated by senior colleagues. [2]

Harassment is not always overt and can often be nuanced and coded. For example harassment may be ambiguous and indirect, taking the form of 'harmless' insinuations and subtly inappropriate behaviour that is accepted as the cultural norm within a department or research group.

Underestimating the impact of harassment not only affects the wellbeing of individuals and their advancement in academia; it can be damaging to wider morale, performance, attrition rates and institutional reputations. 


'Where do you draw the line?' begins with an initial 2.5 hour session that is part facilitated by the Head of Department, which helps ensure that it is discipline-specific and relevant to all participants. It offers departments the opportunity to undertake a collective analysis of the individual and contextual factors that might create and sustain a work environment in which harassment and bullying occur and empower participants to work collaboratively to address this.

The cost of this session is currently £300 for UCL departments.

More information

To find out more and to organise a session for your department, please email: draw-the-line-training@ucl.ac.uk 



Taking the Lead Training

‘Taking the lead’ is a bullying and harassment prevention workshop aimed at senior managers within departments.

The 2-hour session brings managers together to encourage a strategic and proactive approach to tackling bullying and harassment. 

A key message that the workshop delivers is that an absence of complaints does not necessarily equal the absence of a problem. It suggests that waiting for complaints to occur before taking action is not an option, and provides practical frameworks and case studies to address problematic behaviour and culture.

‘Taking The Lead’ enables Heads of Department and senior staff to work together to consider their responsibilities in creating and maintaining a positive workplace culture. It complements the ‘Where do you draw the line?’ workshop that is available to all staff by focusing on informal resolution frameworks, and departmental responsibilities under employment and equality law.


If you would like to schedule a session for your department, please email: draw-the-line-training@ucl.ac.uk


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