Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct 

PROSPECT Collaboration 

It is the policy of the PROSPECT Collaboration that all collaborators will conduct themselves in a professional manner that is welcoming to all colleagues and free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. Collaborators will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment. Creating a supportive environment that best enables scientific progress is the responsibility of all collaborators.

Collaborators will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on characteristics such as age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, religious identity, or other characteristic protected by law. Collaborators shall avoid using words or gestures that can offend the dignity of other persons. This includes generalizations and is not limited to actions or statements directed at individuals. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to: inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking. Offensive messages, derogatory remarks, and inappropriate jokes are all forms of harassment.

If you perceive yourself to have been the subject of harassment in the course of PROSPECT Collaboration activities, you should consider doing some or all of the following:

  • If possible, and if you feel comfortable, inform the perpetrator that his/her behavior is unwelcome. Explain what is bothering you, identify the behavior as harassment, and state that you want that behavior to stop. You are not required or expected to confront your harasser prior to reporting a harassment related incident.
  • If you want to initiate a formal complaint or request actions to be taken by PROSPECT Collaboration leadership, you can inform any member of the PROSPECT Institutional Board or identified volunteer point of contact. The IB member or point of contact will elevate the complaint to the spokespeople for further action, as detailed below.
  • Inform the Human Resources Department, Ombudsperson, Title IX Office, or equivalent entity at your home institution.
  • If appropriate, consider reporting the incident to the fair employment agency in your jurisdiction or to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

If a collaborator observes inappropriate comments or actions and personal intervention seems appropriate and safe, they should consider intervening. All collaborators play a role in building a culture of respect and should not hesitate to bring any concerns related to this code of conduct to the attention of the spokespeople or Institutional Board.

Any collaborator asked to stop harassing behavior is expected to comply immediately. The IB will review anonymized incident reports received by the spokespeople in their standing meeting. After consulting with leadership the spokespeople may, at their sole discretion, contact affected parties. In instances of unresolved or serious conflicts, collaboration leadership may take any action they deem appropriate, ranging from warning the offender to contacting institutional resources of the accused party for a formal investigation and requesting that the accused party leave the collaboration. Retaliation for complaints of inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated.

The PROSPECT code of conduct will be distributed to the entire collaboration and made available on the PROSPECT website. The spokespeople will review it at the beginning of each collaboration meeting. PIs and institutional members are expected to discuss it with their group and with every new member joining the collaboration at their institution.

This code of conduct is not intended to replace or supersede any institutional policies governing professional conduct or harassment.


Know Your Rights: Workplace Sexual Harassment, The American Association of University Women (AAUW)

Facts on Sexual Harassment, EEOC

Sexual Harassment, RAINN

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, National Women's Law Center


National Academies Study on Sexual Harassment Calls for Culture Shift at Academic Institutions, American Institute of Physics

Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE): Trainees Report Harassment and Assault, Kathryn B. H. Clancy, Robin G. Nelson, Julienne N. Rutherford, Katie Hinde (2014)

Code of Conduct for APS Meetings, American Physical Society

Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment, EEOC

Conference anti-harassment/Policy resources, Geek Feminism

Revision 0; Updated October 20, 2018