LAB CODE OF CONDUCT

The purpose of this document is to serve future members of our group about its professional inner dynamics and offer a resource for its current members to remember the important professional things we care about. We are a collaborative and people-centred workplace where the health, well-being and professional development of its members is a priority.

 
Lab and Group Culture
We pay attention to words and statements. It is OK to be critical, but doing it with absolute respect, accuracy, and compassion is key. It is our responsibility to be tough on ideas during group discussions, yet it is not easy to criticize an idea while making sure that the owner of the idea does not feel as if they are not appreciated as a member. If you are delivering a criticism, please be conscious of critiquing ideas, not individuals. If you are at the receiving end of it and you are upset with the mode of delivery, please speak up. If you are the observer of a tough situation, please consider taking action. Recognize that every person will bring strengths and weaknesses with them to our space: highlight each others’ strengths, and help each other overcome our weaknesses. When speaking to or about others, make yourself aware of their preferred pronouns and do not deliberately misgender others. Do not gossip about lab members and their personal lives.


Harassment and discrimination, whether private or public, are not tolerated. Engaging in unacceptable behaviours will result in disciplinary action. Examples of unacceptable behaviours include: Physical or verbal harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination in any form, any form of arrogance or contempt of any lab members, and abuse of any lab members; Intimidation, threats or coercion; Conduct or knowingly creating a condition that threatens or endangers any person; Conduct that is, or is reasonably seen to be, humiliating or demeaning to another person; Aiding or encouraging others to act in a manner prohibited under these guidelines; Verbal comments based on gender, sexual orientation, disability, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance and dress, body size, socioeconomic status, education background, marital status, lifestyle choices, and personal characteristics protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (race, religion, national origin); Threatening, stalking, and harassing of lab members; Unwelcome sexual advances; Requests for sexual favours; Harassment intended and communicated in a joking manner. Consent is not implied, and if you are unsure whether your behaviour towards another person is welcome, ask them. If someone tells you to stop, do so promptly.


We expect every member of our group to be prepared to participate in our ongoing efforts to educate ourselves on issues that affect underrepresented groups in Canada and beyond, such as microaggressions, white supremacy, euro-centrism, racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQ2I movements, and other exclusionary actions. 


Be considerate of dietary restrictions, family obligations, and religious observances of the team members. 


Group Discussions
It is best if at any given time only one person is talking, especially during official lab meetings or spontaneous discussions in the lab. Active discussion is a part of our daily routine and the definition of our work, but starting multiple discussions at a given moment can be very inefficient since both parties will be missing out on others’ ideas. No one interrupts anyone else. Body language can be as interruptive as spoken words, so we should strive to encourage the speaker’s attempt to speak up their mind by making sure they are not dealing with our verbal or physical reactions. Be mindful of those of us who are not native in English and present in a clear and accessible manner.


Reproducibility and Transparency
Keep accurate and complete laboratory records, maintain integrity in all conduct, experiments, and publications, and give due credit to the contributions of others. Conflicts of interest and scientific misconduct, such as fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism, are incompatible with this Code.


We are Good Lab Citizens
Close the doors and turn off the lights if you are the last to leave the lab. Treat equipment with respect. Take responsibility for the laboratory environment. Always clean up every tool that you used as well as the lab bench after yourself. If you use the last of some supply or you notice that the supply is running low, add the item to the Order Google Sheet (it takes time to replace things!). If you receive a chemical, check SDS for proper storage instructions and update the lab inventory. If you break something, please disclose it. If you move something, put it back. If you develop a new procedure, make a protocol to share it with the lab. Solutions should be clearly labelled with what it is, the date it was prepared, and who made them. 

We hope and believe that the members of our group will go out of their way to make others feel welcome and raise their concerns when they witness a mistake. If you find that you have created a negative environment, listen, offer a genuine apology, and commit to learning and doing better. If you see something inappropriate happening, a gentle reminder about the Code of Conduct is a productive response.