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Keiser Lab Code of Conduct

In addition to the UCSF Code of Conduct, all members of and visitors to the lab must commit to this code of conduct. The lab is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity, expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religious preference, citizenship, or immigration status.

1. Our Lab Values

We value a safe and inclusive workplace, intellectually, physically, and emotionally. As lab citizens, we are:

  • Kind, respectful, and empathetic. We are thoughtful with the language we use and sensitive to how it might cause harm, even if unintentional. We acknowledge that we may make errors and we do not ascribe motives in the absence of knowledge. If we receive feedback that we caused harm, we take it to heart and modify our behavior.

  • Equitable and inclusive. The Keiser Lab is an inclusive environment in which everyone is given the opportunity to succeed. We are not dismissive, including based on a person’s native language or perceived lack of domain knowledge or experience.

  • Welcoming. New and prospective members are treated with respect and encouragement. They are given the mentorship they need.

  • Committed. We facilitate the personal and academic development of all lab members and help them to achieve their career goals.

  • Deliberating. We provide and respond to constructive scientific feedback to help each other complete our projects and advance our knowledge. We feel comfortable freely discussing and critiquing science as a group. All contributions and opinions are valued.

  • Safe. Your health and safety are more important than your research. We adhere to safety codes and prioritize our mental and physical health.

  • Open, transparent, and rigorous. Scientific studies are conducted openly where possible, and dissemination is transparent and thorough. We use this transparency, thoroughness, and accountability to prevent errors in research and publishing. We value thoroughness and completeness, and actively attempt to disprove our own findings and hypotheses.

  • Aware. We actively improve our knowledge of issues about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We familiarize ourselves with conflict management, cognitive distortions, microaggressions, restorative justice, and practices that contribute to marginalization. We continually learn and update our practices.

  • Active. We are all active bystanders.

  • Accountable. We are accountable as a group. We update our code of conduct as needed.

  • Community. We are engaged with UCSF, the scientific community, and the world. We consider the potential benefits and ramifications of our work. We preferentially publish in open access journals and publish all available data and code for wider access.

2. Restorative Justice Principles and Practices

By "making things right," restorative justice seeks to knit wholeness back into a community which has been torn; it seeks to repair relationships so lab members can focus on their academic or research work, and reconnect as a member of the learning community. The practices include:

  • Providing those harmed with a safe place to share how the incident impacted them.

  • Holding individuals who harm accountable for their actions.

  • Giving students, faculty, and staff a voice in helping the respondent (offender) make things right.

  • Developing an effective alternative to the traditional system of judicial affairs.

  • Creating a culture of belonging and caring where community standards are relied upon for setting and correcting behavior.

3. Policies

3.1 Harassment

Harassment directly goes against our lab culture and values and can create an unwelcome environment for us to grow as scientists and individuals. It harms the community we seek to build. Harassment will not be tolerated. Lab members must stop any harassing behavior immediately, and more generally are asked to proactively reflect on their own behavior in an ongoing manner. The UCSF discrimination and harrassment and sexual harassment polices offer resources.

As an active bystander, you are expected to report any harassment that you observe. If safety is a concern, put safety first. If reprisal or anonymity is a concern, Mike or several of the other reporting resources can receive anonymous reports (e.g., via unsigned anonymous note, or other online tools).

There are multiple resources at your disposal for responding to or reporting harassment. These include Mike, the ombudsman, your program administrator, UCSF CARE and others (see Resources). If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, one option is to contact Mike immediately. All communication will be treated as confidential within the extent of the law. If Mike is the cause of your concern or you are not comfortable speaking with him please use another resource.

3.2 Other prohibited behavioral conduct

For clarity, examples of unacceptable behavior in a lab setting might include:

  • Sexist, racist, derisive, or exclusionary jokes.

  • Posting incendiary or offensive content on our lab’s slack.

  • Dismissiveness or exclusion:

    • Towards non-native speakers.

    • Based on lack of prior domain knowledge or experience, such as programming, machine learning, cheminformatics, or biology background.

  • Withholding resources:

    • Purposeful hoarding (lab compute or intellectual) with intent to prevent learning or hinder the progress of others.

    • From individuals who need accommodations in order to be effective at their jobs (e.g. screen readers for ADA compliance, etc).

  • Intentional obfuscation of concepts in research discussions to prevent engagement from individuals with less experience.

  • Malicious intellectual challenges with the intent to incite public embarrassment.

    • Read: Purposeful intellectual intimidation.

    • Tearing someone down when they are presenting.

3.3 Conflict management

We promote a professional lab culture where we all learn from each other. If conflict arises in personal interactions, we make amends personally and with maturity when the error becomes evident. We endeavor to offer sincere apologies, and we try to accept such apologies. We will not tolerate continued conflict within the lab and will actively work toward resolution and healing (when possible).

3.4 Safety

Your health and safety are more important than your research. This includes adhering to all (wet and dry) lab safety codes, as well as prioritizing the physical and mental health of you, your colleagues, and others. Likewise, you are expected to follow policies that protect the safety and health of your colleagues. The nature of computational work means that your home environment can also be an extension of your work environment in certain circumstances. If you are working from home and you are experiencing an unsafe home environment due to abuse, housing/food insecurity, or other issues, the Keiser lab is committed to working with you to find you a way out or forward without judgement or penalty.

3.5 Research misconduct

The campus adheres to the HHS’s definition of Research Misconduct, defined as: "fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results." Intentional errors are at the center of scientific misconduct and will not be tolerated. Any individual engaging in such actions will be dismissed from scientific research.

3.6 Unintentional research errors

Unintentional errors do **not **constitute scientific misconduct. Should such errors occur, it is the responsibility of the parties concerned to try and remedy the situation as soon as possible. We strive to catch any errors prior to publication. However, should errors involve published data, this could range from writing the editor to correct a minor mistake (erratum) or correcting a more fundamental flaw that undermines a research report (correction or retraction).

4. Accountability

Mike, as PI, is responsible for creating and enforcing a safe environment for all students, postdocs, interns, and employees of the lab. If instances arise wherein Mike cannot or has not done so in a timely manner, UCSF provides a variety of resources at multiple levels to support and enforce these values, described in Resources.

5. Resources

Action strategies

Resources to get help

Lab safety

Statements on anti-racism

Self-education resources

Being an active bystander

Other codes of conduct and values statements

Working list of further resources to collate

  • Civil discussion and disagreement

  • Microaggressions, jokes

  • Overt racism, sexism, discrimination

  • Respectful participation of all in discussion

  • Bystander training, silence is complicity

  • Accountability planning

  • How to have hard conversations

  • Baseline self education expectations

  • How to proceed in case of …