There are hundreds of research groups at Imperial College and hundreds of different ways of running a research group. But how many of those groups have a code of conduct?
One that does is run by Professor Chris Jackson from the Department of Earth Sciences and Engineering. Chris is perhaps better known as the guy who abseils into active volcanoes, but not only has he developed a code of conduct for his group, he has also posted it online.
Finally…after much hacking, and after consultation with past and present members of the group, I'm super-pleased to present the @BasinsIC (BRG) Code of Conduct. Comments and thoughts welcome. https://t.co/mbOOY9ubQ7 pic.twitter.com/xVQH2qXkcW
— Christopher Jackson (@seis_matters) May 18, 2018
You can see the document here – and comment if you wish (Chris would be glad of the feedback).
Since it’s published under a CC-BY license, you are free to adopt and adapt it for your own group. Indeed, as Chris readily acknowledges, his group’s code of conduct is based on similar documents from other universities and other labs at Imperial – including those run by Sam Krevor and Ben Britton.
This seems to me an excellent way for groups to start a conversation about the standards of performance and behaviour that they want to have when working at Imperial. Chris’s document covers inclusivity, mental health, open science, conference attendance, working hours, email etiquette and advice on engaging with social media.
Of course many groups work well without needing to have a code written down. But the advantage of an open published document is that it empowers all group members to be engaged in setting standards of conduct. It’s also a good way of advertising the values of your group to the outside world – and to anyone thinking of applying to join it.
Although the code is written for a research group, there is no good reason elements couldn’t be adapted for groups that are doing things other than research.
It’s great to find such initiatives happening at Imperial – and, like any good researcher, I’m glad to be able to share the discovery.