The Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute is committed to conducting its activities in accordance with the highest standards of integrity and ethics.
We value the pursuit of scientific knowledge to benefit humanity as well as the education and training of outstanding scientists. Each member of our community - faculty, students, postdocs, research staff and administrative staff - should be treated with fairness and respect, and embrace diversity and inclusion.
Consistent with our mission, commitments and policies, the purpose of this Code is to set forth the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute’s expectations for the professional conduct of our affiliates, including: faculty affiliated with our Institute, occupants of the Stanford Neurosciences Building, researchers pursuing scientific inquiry or scholarship funded by our grants, awards and fellowships, our trainees and their mentors, participants in our programs, seminars, symposia and meetings, and staff, employees and contractors working for the institute.
This Code is intended to be consistent with the overarching policy that Stanford University has in place governing conduct for all faculty, trainees, students and employees: Stanford University prohibits discrimination and harassment and provides equal opportunities for all community members and applicants regardless of their race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.
By participating in Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute programs or using space in the Stanford Neurosciences Building, our affiliates agree to:
- Treat each other and Institute staff with respect, civility and fairness, and without bias based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, genetic information, or any other criteria prohibited under applicable federal, state or local law.
- To engage in the pursuit of scientific inquiry and scholarship with integrity, honesty, accuracy and fairness, consistent with Stanford University’s standards of integrity and quality.
- To not engage in activities that constitute harassment.
In addition to refraining from unlawful harassment, Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute expects all affiliates to follow principles of acceptable behavior and avoid inappropriate conduct in the laboratory, classroom, program venues or workplace.
Reporting Harassment or Inappropriate Conduct
Anyone who has experienced harassment, or who has witnessed such behavior, may report the incident through several processes. There are several Stanford help resources that offer confidentiality. The Protected Identity Harm Reporting process allows reporting through an online system in either an anonymous mode to provide data to Stanford, or in a connection mode to be contacted by help resources. Our community members may request allyship from the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute Community Advocate, Zulema Garibo.
The following definitions are taken from the National Institutes of Health Policy and Compliance website, and are similar to Codes adopted by, for example, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Meetings, HHMI Janelia Farm Meetings, Keystone Symposia and other of our peer organizations.
Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, national origin, accent, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, transgender status, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, equal pay/compensation, or genetic information (including family medical history). Harassment is a form of employment discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended), and ADA Amendments Act of 2008 ADAAA. 42 U.S.C. ch 126 12101 et seq.
Under federal law, harassment becomes unlawful when:
- enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment,
- the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
Anti-discrimination laws also prohibit harassment against individuals in retaliation for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit under these laws; or opposing employment practices that they reasonably believe discriminate against individuals, in violation of these laws.
Forms of Harassment
The following are examples of inappropriate conduct that may meet the definition of harassment if an incident is severe or pervasive.
- Sexual Harassment/Harassment based on sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, transgender status, and sexual orientation). Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Making repeated attempts to establish an unwanted relationship
- Making offensive comments or asking questions about someone's sexual history, orientation, or gender identity
- Intentionally misusing a person’s requested pronouns
- Sharing sexually inappropriate images or videos, such as pornography, with others in the workplace
- Sending suggestive letters, notes, texts, or emails or displaying inappropriate sexual images in the workplace
- Telling lewd jokes or sharing sexual anecdotes
- Making inappropriate sexual gestures
- Staring in a sexually suggestive or offensive manner or inappropriate whistling
- Making sexual comments about appearance, clothing, or body parts
- Inappropriate touching, including pinching, patting, rubbing, or purposefully brushing up against another person.
- Harassment based on race, ethnicity, color, and/or national origin. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Making derogatory epithets, slurs, remarks, stereotypes, labels, jokes, or innuendos related to a person’s race, ethnicity, culture, or national origin
- Making comments, jokes, teasing someone about a person’s dress, personal appearance, hairstyle, speech, or other practices that are related to their race, ethnicity, culture, and/or national origin
- Displaying racist or discriminatory symbols or imagery
- Engaging in a pattern of unwelcome or inappropriate verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or otherwise negative prejudicial slights and insults toward an individual or group, including but not limited to individuals from historically excluded groups. These may also be referred to as microaggressions* , such as touching someone’s hair or skin, commenting on their ability to speak English, stating and/or perpetuating stereotypes, etc.
- Harassment based on physical, cognitive, mental disability or “regarded as” having a disability. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Making derogatory remarks, stereotypes, labels, jokes, or innuendos related to people with disabilities
- Sending inappropriate letters, notes, texts, or emails and/or displaying inappropriate images in the workplace of people with disabilities
- Telling inappropriate jokes or sharing inappropriate disability related anecdotes
- Making inappropriate or mocking disability related gestures
- Staring in an inappropriate or offensive manner
- Making inappropriate comments about appearance, assistive equipment, or body parts
- Inappropriate touching, including pinching, patting, rubbing, or purposefully providing unwanted assistance including with service animals
- Making offensive comments or asking questions about someone's medical condition, history of a medical condition, and/or whether they are a person with a disability
- Harassment based on religion or creed. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Sharing inappropriate images or videos with others in the workplace of a person’s religion, creed, or a person’s choice to abstain from religiosity
- Sending inappropriate letters, notes, texts, or emails or displaying inappropriate images in the workplace of a person’s religion, creed, or a person’s choice to abstain from religiosity
- Telling inappropriate jokes or sharing inappropriate religion related anecdotes
- Making inappropriate or mocking religion related gestures
- Making offensive comments or asking questions about someone's religion, creed, or a person’s choice to abstain from religiosity
- Harassment based on age (40 or older). Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Sending inappropriate letters, notes, texts, or e-mails or displaying inappropriate age-related images in the workplace
- Telling inappropriate jokes or sharing inappropriate age-related anecdotes
- Making inappropriate or mocking age-related gestures
- Determining and assigning tasks or duties based on a person’s age
- Staring in an inappropriate or offensive manner
- Inappropriate touching, including pinching, patting, rubbing, or purposefully providing unwanted assistance
- Making offensive age-related comments or inappropriately asking questions about someone's age
- Harassment based on genetic information. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Unlawfully obtaining or sharing genetic information, as well as any information related to it with others in the workplace
- Sending inappropriate letters, notes, texts, or e-mails related to genetic information or displaying inappropriate images in the workplace related to genetic information
- Making offensive comments or asking questions about someone's genetic information or related medical condition, history of a medical condition, and/or whether they are a person with a disability
Inappropriate conduct is a separate, broader category of misconduct that may not meet the definition of harassment listed above. This type of conduct may not constitute harassment under the law, but raises concerns about a safe and respectful workplace. Inappropriate conduct includes any comments or conduct that disparages or demonstrates hostility or aversion towards any person that could reasonably be perceived as disruptive, disrespectful, offensive, or inappropriate in the workplace. These may also be referred to as microaggressions.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Actions or behaviors that adversely impact operations, productivity, and/or work environment
- Rude comments, ridicule, disrespectful jokes, or insults
- Inappropriate yelling or emotional outbursts, using expletives, throwing objects, or banging/slamming doors
- Inappropriate touching or any form of physical intimidation or aggression (e.g., holding, restraining, impeding, or blocking movement, following, inappropriate contact or advances, bullying, or any other forms of inappropriate touching)
- Engaging in a personal relationship with someone in an inherently unequal position where there is a real or perceived authority or influence over the other’s conditions of employment and/or has the ability to directly impact the other’s career progression and not disclosing the relationship and taking steps to mitigate the risk to all parties. This may include formal and informal supervisory relationships.
- Inappropriate or rude gestures, expressions, pictures, or graffiti
- Threats against others or engaging in other threatening behavior
- Psychological bullying or intimidation, such as making statements that are false, malicious, disparaging, or derogatory with the intent to hurt another’s reputation
- Engaging in behaviors that may have a dampening effect on reporting workplace concerns, such as those that can be perceived as intimidating or retaliatory against individuals who report concerns or participate in an administrative inquiry or other protected activity
Microaggressions are everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults -- whether intentional or unintentional -- that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to individuals based solely upon their marginalized group membership. Microaggressions repeat or affirm stereotypes about a minority group, and they tend to minimize the existence of discrimination or bias, intentional or not. Sue, et al. defined racial microaggressions as subtle, daily, and unintentional racial slights committed against people of color because they are members of a racialized group.
Appendix: Relevant Stanford Policies
1.1.1 Code of Conduct
Respect for Others
2.2.4 Violence in the Workplace
1.7.1 Sexual Harassment
1.7.2 Consensual Sexual or Romantic Relationships In the Workplace and Educational Setting
1.7.4 Equal Employment Opportunity, Non-Discrimination, and Affirmative Action Policy
4.2 Statement on Academic Freedom
The Fundamental Standard
Protected Identity Harm Reporting
Stanford Report article on process: https://news.stanford.edu/report/2021/10/12/renewed-commitment-helping-students-harmed-bias-related-incidents/