Code of Conduct, Related Policies, Reporting, and Resources

IAIFI Code of Conduct

Regardless of their position or seniority, members of the IAIFI and participants in IAIFI activities are expected to:

  • Act in an ethical and collaborative manner at all times and abide by the MIT Physics Community Values
  • Work with the utmost scientific integrity and respect the confidentiality of information and work presented at internal IAIFI meetings
  • Treat each other with dignity and respect, support and encourage each other’s growth, and step in as needed to maintain an environment free of discrimination, harassment, and bullying

Furthermore, members of the IAIFI and participants in IAIFI activities may not engage in retaliation against anyone for objecting to a behavior that may violate this code, reporting a violation of this code, or participating in the resolution of such a complaint.

In addition to this Code of Conduct, members of the IAIFI and participants in IAIFI activities are required to comply with MIT’s Non-Discrimination Policy, and MIT’s Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment, including Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Gender-Based Harassment, and Title IX Sexual Harassment (see IAIFI’s Non-Discrimination Policy and Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment for further information).

See below for instructions on reporting violations, definitions of terms, and links to resources.

Resources

Reporting Process for Violations to the Code of Conduct

Reports of Code of Conduct violations should be made to the IAIFI management and board directly, or to any member of the Early Career and Equity Committee (ECEC). The emails and positions of ECEC members are listed below. ECEC members do not provide counseling or support services; their role in this context is to direct complainants to available resources, including providing a private reporting channel to the IAIFI management and board. You may also submit fully anonymous reports via the general IAIFI suggestion/feedback form; however, note that IAIFI management and board may be limited in their ability to investigate complaints that do not contain personal identifying information.

Information provided to individual members of the ECEC will be shared with an ECEC faculty or staff member (typically the chair), and depending on circumstances may be shared with the full committee, although complainants may request that their identity not be shared. The ECEC faculty or staff member will be responsible for reporting the complaint to the IAIFI management and board.

When a Code of Conduct violation is reported to the IAIFI management and board, they will work to address it in conjunction with the human resources administration(s) of the relevant institution(s). Consequences for Code of Conduct violations may include a verbal or written warning, removal from IAIFI events, loss of IAIFI membership privileges, reporting to the relevant university offices, or other remedies as appropriate.

For information on reporting violations of MIT’s Non-Discrimination Policy and Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment, and the resolution of such complaints, please click here.

Note that anyone is free to report any violations of institutional policies to the appropriate institution, but we cannot guarantee that institutions will forward information about a complaint to the IAIFI. If there has been a violation of the IAIFI Code of Conduct or other IAIFI policies and you want the IAIFI to respond, you should report it through one or more of the channels described above.

Supplementary List of Definitions and Resources

The Code of Conduct uses several phrases that may need further explanation, so we provide some guidance here. These definitions may not be applicable to contexts outside the IAIFI: they are provided to clarify the intended meaning of the IAIFI Code of Conduct.

ethical and collaborative manner
Members of the IAIFI and participants in IAIFI activities should be aware of and adhere to the policies of their own institutions on responsible and ethical conduct. For example, MIT’s policies are described here. The intended meaning of collaborative is described in the MIT Physics Values Statement: “When we collaborate, we take other people’s ideas seriously and recognize that they might understand concepts and approach problems differently. Exclusion or derision of others based on different points of view is not acceptable. Collaboration requires sharing knowledge and skills, and is based on appropriately acknowledging everyone’s intellectual contributions.”
the utmost scientific integrity
Members of the IAIFI and participants in IAIFI activities should be aware of and adhere to the academic misconduct policies of their own institutions, including any reporting obligations. In particular, any fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or deliberate interference in research activities (see the link below for definitions) is research misconduct and a violation of the IAIFI’s Code of Conduct. Honest errors or differences of opinion do not qualify as misconduct. For example, MIT’s policy is here. (In particular, plagiarism includes any appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit, including in the context of authorship.)
respect the confidentiality of information and work presented at internal IAIFI meetings
The content of meetings with restricted attendance should not be shared outside that group without the permission of the presenter, unless the same content is already publicly available. If in doubt, ask the person who presented the material.
step in as needed to maintain an environment…
The Code of Conduct places responsibility on all IAIFI members and participants for actively maintaining a healthy environment, but does not require members and participants to respond to problems by immediately confronting those involved. Appropriate strategies for bystander intervention are context-dependent and rely on personal judgement. However, all IAIFI members and participants are asked to be active bystanders—people who take steps that can make a difference when they observe unacceptable behavior. These steps could include strategies to defuse the situation, to forestall future similar incidents, or to support the person/people targeted. This link provides guidance on being an active bystander. Hosts for IAIFI talks and other events are especially encouraged to explore these resources and preemptively plan strategies for dealing with inappropriate behavior.
discrimination, harassment
See the Non-Discrimination Policy and Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment for context and details
bullying
Bullying occurs when someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words or more subtle actions. (Source) Typical examples of workplace bullying are discussed in this document.

Reporting Resources

Current ECEC Membership:

  • Staff: Marisa LaFleur (MIT, IAIFI Project Manager), Email
  • Faculty: Tracy Slatyer (MIT, Chair), Email; Edo Berger (Harvard), Email
  • Postdocs/Fellows: Harold Erbin (MIT), Email; Siddharth Mishra-Sharma (MIT), Email
  • PhD Students: Katie Fraser (Harvard), Email; Kiranjyot (Jasmine) Gill (Harvard), Email; Anindita Maiti (Northeastern), Email

Resources for Addressing Discrimination/Harassment (Not Confidential)

Ombuds Resources

(Confidential)

Confidential Resources for Sexual Assault/Violence

Mental Health and Counseling Resources

MIT | Tufts | Northeastern | Harvard

Non-Discrimination Policy and Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment including Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Gender-Based Harassment and Title IX Sexual Harassment

Members of the IAIFI and participants in IAIFI activities are required to comply with MIT’s Non-Discrimination Policy, and MIT’s Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment, including Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Gender-Based Harassment, Title IX Sexual Harassment. Members of the IAIFI and participants in IAIFI activities may not engage in retaliation against anyone for objecting to a behavior that may violate these policies, reporting a violation of these policies, or participating in the resolution of such a complaint.

Reporting Process for Violations of Non-Discrimination and Prohibition against Discriminatory Harassment Policies

Reports of discrimination and discriminatory harassment should be made to MIT’s Institute Discrimination & Harassment Response Office (IDHR). Any reports of discrimination and discriminatory harassment made to the IAIFI management and board, or to any member of the Early Career and Equity Committee (ECEC) will be forwarded to IDHR. ECEC members who are not responsible employees must still share the report with a faculty or staff member of ECEC, although the complainant may request that their identity not be shared. In this case the faculty or staff ECEC member is responsible for forwarding the report to both IDHR and the IAIFI management and board. IAIFI members are encouraged to notify either an ECEC member or a member of IAIFI Management even if they report directly to IDHR.

IDHR will follow the complaint resolution process set forth in Section 9.8 of MIT’s Policies and Procedures to review complaints of discrimination and discriminatory harassment although sanctioning an IAIFI member or participant for violating these policies will be done by IAIFI management.

Consequences for violation of the Non Discrimination Policy and Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment may include a verbal or written warning, removal from IAIFI events, or loss of IAIFI membership privileges. In addition, any investigative report or other findings by IDHR and sanctioning outcomes will be provided to the home institution of any IAIFI member found to have violated either of these policies.

Clarification on Responsible Employee Status

Faculty and postdoc members of the IAIFI Board and ECEC are considered responsible individuals under Title IX, meaning they are required to inform MIT’s IDHR office if they learn of incidents of gender-based discrimination including sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and stalking. The ECEC as a whole has similar reporting obligations. Reporting to MIT’s IDHR office (either by a complainant directly or via a third party) will not generally trigger an automatic formal investigation. However, for detailed information on how MIT’s IDHR office respond to complaints of discrimination and discriminatory harassment, please consult the IDHR webpage.

Acknowledging the Code of Conduct

It is important that we all take responsibility for the Code of Conduct in order to foster a collaborative, respectful, and welcoming environment. To that end, we would like to ask all members of the IAIFI community to read and agree to the IAIFI Code of Conduct.

Confirm and agree to abide by the IAIFI Code of Conduct