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  • Created 03 Sep 2019

This Code of Conduct is a living document. We value your insights, feedback and comments. Please leave comments and suggested edits in the google document version of the code of conduct. 

Commentable Version    Other Policies

What does it mean for this to be a living document?

This Code of Conduct is a living document. We value your insights, feedback and comments. Please leave comments and suggested edits in this google document version of the code of conduct. We will revisit these comments and suggestions as we near the dates of the summer launch and update the code of conduct to reflect the discussion. This code of conduct is also shared on QUBES under a Creative Commons license, meaning you are free to use and adapt it for your own workshop.

BioQUEST and QUBES Professional Development Events

BioQUEST has been providing professional development, educational resources, and a transformative community for biology educators since 1988.  With the 3P’s educational philosophy of “problem posing, problem solving, and peer persuasion,” BioQUEST has been a core component of many national education reform projects.  Many of the leaders of the QUBES project come from the BioQUEST community, and BioQUEST serves as the national base for the collaborative QUBES project.  Events such as the BIOME Institute are collaboratively organized by the BQ and QUBES communities and provide an opportunity to bring together related projects. 

Diversity and Inclusivity

The BIOME Institute is designed to bring together a community of educators dedicated to implementing evidence-based pedagogies and inclusive resources to improve student success in science.  The Institute provides a unique opportunity to interact with faculty from different disciplines and institutional types, as well as different personal backgrounds.  This diversity is a source of strength for the community, providing many different viewpoints and allowing participants to grow in new directions.  

However, it is important to acknowledge that the practice of inclusivity can be challenging.  It is not always easy to hear others voicing ideas that make one uncomfortable, or to have the courage to address those issues in productive conversation.  We encourage all participants in the Institute to begin with the acknowledgement that all the participants are committed to the laudable and challenging goal of supporting student success.  

It is also important to note that acceptable behavior to one person may not be acceptable to another, so use discretion to be certain respect is communicated. With that in mind, we ask everyone to proceed from the assumption that if you are offended or made uncomfortable, this was done without malice, and that engaging someone who has offended you in a respectful conversation about why you are offended is the best way to lead to growth in the community.  Conversely, when drawn into conversations about why something is offensive, it is important to listen actively and consider carefully what is being said.  

Be aware that emotions are likely to be running very high on both sides in this type of conversation. Take a deep breath and be aware of your own emotions.  Then think about the situation and respond to one another focused on the incident rather than the emotions as best you can. 

These are teachable moments that we will all experience in the classroom, and although it is uncomfortable, as a group we need to work to make it safe to take the risk of being vulnerable and have these conversations so that we can grow and become better educators.

Expected Behavior

We expect everyone to respect the following list of behaviors at BioQUEST and QUBES' professional development events and programs (this list of behaviors and consequences was modified from the  Ecological Society of America Code of Conduct):

Expected Behavior

  • Treat everyone (this includes other participants, staff of BioQUEST and the meeting venue) with kindness, respect, and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions (including those you may not share).Treating others with respect includes using their preferred name and pronouns.
  • We are all professionals. We expect everyone to exhibit professional behavior at all times.
  • Communicate openly, with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of others. Alert conference staff if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, BioQUEST-contracted facility, or any other venue.

Unacceptable Behavior

  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form including, but not limited to: 
    • Physical or verbal abuse 
    • Exclusionary behavior and microaggressions related to age, appearance or body size, employment or military status, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, individual lifestyle, marital status, national origin, physical or cognitive ability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, race, or religion
    • Inappropriate physical contact
    • Unwanted sexual attention
    • Use of sexual or discriminatory images in public spaces or in presentations
    • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
    • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
    • Bullying behavior, including intentional microaggressions
    • Retaliation for reporting unacceptable behavior
  • Unacceptable behavior intended in a joking manner still constitutes unacceptable behavior.

Reporting Incidents

Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety at any time should contact local law enforcement (by calling 911) and then immediately notify the conference organizers (listed below).

If you are not in immediate danger but feel that you are the subject of unacceptable behavior, have witnessed any such behavior, or have other concerns, report the incident to one of the conference organizers (as soon as possible) who will work to resolve the situation. 

Conference organizers will treat all reports seriously and will work to understand the situation through prompt investigation, including conversations with relevant individuals and witnesses before determining an appropriate course of action. 

Contact information for workshop organizers:

  • Kristin Jenkins (kristin "dot" jenkins "at" bioquest "dot" org)
  • Sam Donovan (sdonovan"at" pitt "dot" edu)
  • Hayley Orndorf (hco1 "at" pitt "dot" edu)


  • Anyone requested to stop a behavior by conference organizers is expected to comply immediately.
  • Conference organizers or security may take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, including immediate removal from the meeting without warning or refund.
  • Conference organizers reserve the right to prohibit attendance at any future meeting.

Data Protection Policy

We ask for demographic information to allow us to evaluate how well we are reaching the broad community of faculty, and for reporting purposes to our funders.  This information is aggregated and stripped of identifiers before being used in reports or papers.  The agreement to this policy is included in the application.

Social Media, Photo, and Video Policy

Both BioQUEST and QUBES promote scholarly engagement with Open Education Practices (OEP) by promoting sharing of resources by community members through professional development experiences such as this workshop.

Unless a speaker explicitly opts out at the beginning of a presentation, participants may share information about the talk on social media or take photos for personal use. Photos of posters should only be taken with the presenter’s explicit consent; permission may be included on the poster itself or granted while the presenter is present.

We encourage you to use the conference hashtag #qbio20 when sharing information about the BIOME Institute on social media.

By participating in the BIOME Institute, you grant BioQUEST and QUBES the right to use your likeness for educational or promotional purposes.