Code of Conduct

Last reviewed - MDA 01/04/2019


We value the participation of every member of our community and want to ensure everyone has an enjoyable and fulfilling experience, both professionally and personally. Accordingly, all members of the Adams’ Research Group are always expected to show respect and courtesy to others. We define our culture and our culture is inclusive.

Please note that this code of conduct supplements, and does not trump, Department and University level policies for your level of employ or study.

Inclusion and Diversity

We value an inclusive and diverse research environment to support everybody’s development and research, and to promote robust decision making and high-quality research. All group members are thus dedicated to a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, and/or religion, for example.

We do not tolerate harassment by or against members of our group in any form and we also support each other in upholding the following principles principals:

  • All communication, be it online or in person, should be appropriate for a professional audience. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate at any time.
  • Be kind to others, and do not insult or put down other group members.
  • Behave professionally and contribute to a healthy and safe work environment. Remember that exclusionary jokes, including use of discriminatory language, are not appropriate at any time.
  • Harassment can include offensive verbal comments related to, for example, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of discussions, inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately.
  • Contribute to discussions in meetings with a constructive, positive approach.
  • Be mindful of talking over others when discussing in groups and be willing to hear out the ideas of others.

In addition to making group members feel safe and secure, diversity and inclusivity has numerous benefits to us all. Put simply, the greater the mix of people in our group, the greater the mix of skills, experiences, perspectives, and ideas we can collectively draw on. But the benefits of diversity cannot be fully achieved without creating an equitable and inclusive environment.

Dr. Adams will discuss the code of conduct with lab members who violate these rules, no matter how much they have contributed to the research group, or how specialised their skill set. If inappropriate behaviour persists after this initial discussion, formal processes, in line with the University of Toronto’s work practise policies, will commence.

To report an issue, please contact Dr. Adams; all communication will be treated as confidential. If you do not feel comfortable contacting Dr. Adams directly, you may find discussions with Professor He (Department Chair).

You may also contact for confidential assistance:


Equity & Diversity Office

Phone: 905-569-4916




Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre

Phone: 416-978-2266



Mental Health

There is increasing evidence that certain attributes of research may challenge your mental health. Specific factors driving this include:

  • Low pay and quality-of-life issues, particularly as a function of living in an expensive region of the GTA.
  • Feelings of isolation in your research; e.g. everyone has their own topic and it can often feel as if you are working on your own.
  • Uncertainty in your research, although it should be noted that, in research of all kinds, it is not just the outcomes that are uncertain, but the questions themselves!
  • Uncertainty in your career.
  • So-called “negative results”; i.e. at some point in your research it is likely that certain questions will be more challenging to answer than anticipated, or that you will feel you have spent days/months/years toiling with little to show.
  • Burnout; i.e. feeling the need to work endless hours to make up for the above issues, and the subsequent exhaustion


All researchers come across most of these issues at some level. Everyone is encouraged to take an active and preventative approach towards the maintenance of their mental health. I assure you that you have the time and resources needed for successful research. If there is anything that is placing undue stress, or preventing you from performing at your potential, please do not hesitate to let Dr. Adams know.

Additionally, if you are concerned about yourself or a friend please contact the UTM Health & Counselling Centre to meet with a personal counselor, nurse or doctor.


UTM Health & Counselling Centre – for students

Phone: 905-828-5255



U of T Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) – for eligible employees

Phone: 1-800-663-1142

Web: /


Graduate Students’ Health & Wellness – for graduate students

Phone: 416-978-8030


Graduate Conflict Resolution Centre – for graduate students

Phone: 416-978-8920



Working Hours

The exact hours members of the lab choose to work is up to them; however, being on campus between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm weekdays will help facilitate collaborative working and, we hope, lead to a more fulfilling research experience.

Lab members are welcome to work flexibly for any reason. All lab members will have at least a few hours each week of designated interaction time with Dr. Adams in order to stay in touch on any challenges or successes, but it is the policy of the Adams Lab that every member is already self-motivated and may choose to deviate from a traditional 9 to 5 day in order to meet our collective goals.


Authorship on any manuscript or presentation will be openly discussed in group meetings and we aim to be inclusive of everyone who has made a significant contribution to the work being presented. In general, we will follow the recommendations from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors:

“The ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work he or she has done, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. In addition, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors.”

The order list of authors will typically follow the Physical Sciences conventions of the lead author (who will often lead writing of the document) who takes the first position, and significant up-front positions are dictated by the approximate percentage contribution made by each author (see here for further information). Latter author positions are often held by supervisors of the work. Where conflict arises, Dr. Adams will facilitate discussion to help resolve this.

As a group, we will endeavour to encourage an open dialogue about authorship, and ideally authorship discussions will occur several times over the lifetime of the study. We will include an author contribution statement as part of a paper.

You must request permission before submitting a paper for peer review and have all author's acknowledgement that they are satisfied for the paper to be submitted (even after re-review). If you have need assistance on this process, please speak to Dr. Adams.

Outputs and Open Science

Dr. Adams is a personal signatory of DORA: San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment. Briefly, this means that we should judge work based upon its merits, and not on where it was published (or other proxy metrics). In practice, this means that we publish work in a venue which provides the best dissemination within our target scientific audience and author support for our published work.

Where possible, all outputs will be published ‘Open Access’ (OA) (preferably Gold or Diamond OA; for definitions, please see the Open Research Glossary), and we will aim to upload manuscripts to a relevant pre-print server at the point of journal submission, review, and ultimate publication. Where Gold OA is not possible, the manuscript should be made publicly available via Green OA and must be placed in the University of Toronto’s TSpace: For details on submission to TSpace, or to discuss publishing options, please contact Dr. Adams.

Data to support a paper, at a minimum the CSVs of tabulated data, image figures, and associated videos, for each paper will be collated together with a metadata file (to describe the attached files) and uploaded to a repository and associated within the manuscript with a data statement. Where possible, we will release codes and scripts to assist the community, but this is tempered with our careful need to manage the intellectual property requirements of our group, sponsors and collaborators. Release of data and information should be discussed first with Dr. Adams.

Thanks, and please enjoy your time in our group!

This Code of Conduct (CoC) borrows heavily and is modified from several existing CoCs: (i) BasinsIC (ii) BahlaiLab CoC; (iii)WhitakerLab; (iv) Hill Lab; and (v) ExpMicroMech.

This CoC is released as CC-BY 4.0


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