Code of Conduct

PRISMA+ Code of Conduct

Core values

We understand, respect and appreciate the reality that people differ in many ways (gender, age, national and ethnic origin, physical abilities, sexual orientation, civil and familial status, religion, political believes, etc.).
Embracing diversity in our cluster allows to:

  • Create a work environment that accelerates productivity and innovation [1,2]
  • Promote equal treatment and opportunities
  • Attract, retain, and promote a diverse set of skills
  • Fight prejudice and discrimination by fostering a culture of inclusion based on the respect for individual human beings
  • Contribute to the personal and professional development of the personnel
  • Enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of the organization
  • Contribute to improving the social-economic standards.


Based on the above core values, all members of the cluster commit to:

  • Treat other people with respect
  • Behave professionally
  • Pay special attention to possible biases when taking decisions
  • Be open for discussion to clear up misunderstandings and resolve conflicts
  • Develop a leadership culture based on mutual respect, recognition and appreciation of individual differences and talents
  • Ensure a balanced composition of coordinating committees and leadership roles taking diversity into consideration
  • Promote the formation of diverse work teams by valuing the unique qualities and merits of each individual
  • Encourage work-life balance by cultivating a healthy, family-friendly, and well-balanced work environment
  • Regularly monitor, analyze, and evaluate statistical information on gender, career-seniority, ethnicity, etc., and develop action plans as needed.

Compliance with the Code of Conduct is a prerequisite for participating in the cluster and receiving funding.


To achieve the above-mentioned goals, we will establish the following structures:

  • Institute a DEI committee to regularly monitor progress
  • Introduce a compulsory DEI training for all members
  • Introduce a compulsory training on best hiring practice for all PIs
  • Enhance our collection of statistical information on gender, career-seniority, ethnicity, etc., and provide regular reports on these metrics
  • Establish an Ombuds team with one voluntary member from each category of scientists, postdocs, and students. Among other responsibilities, the team will be tasked with generating anonymized incident reports to share with all members.

We will regularly adjust our action plans as needed.

Implementation and measures

Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, inappropriate photography, and stalking. In the following, we recommend what to do in case of a violation of the code of conduct and explain the role of the Ombuds team as a contact point.

If you perceive yourself to have been the subject of behavior that made you feel uncomfortable, you are strongly encouraged to take one of the following actions:

  • If you are able to, inform the collaborator that their behavior is not acceptable. Clearly articulate what is bothering you, identifying the behavior as unwelcome, and expressing your desire for that behavior to cease.
  • Reach out to the Ombuds team, available to offer support through advice and mediation, before initiating a formal complaint.

If this does not lead to the desired outcome, a formal complaint can be made to the Ombuds team. This body, in consultation with the Spokespersons of the cluster, will determine the appropriate course of action in response to the violation. Discretion and privacy of those involved will be prioritized at all times. Possible actions in response to violations may range from a verbal warning by the Spokespersons, to withholding cluster resources. If any member of the Ombuds team or the Spokespersons are involved in the violation, they must refrain from any decision-making process. If appropriate, the Ombuds team will also offer support to report the incident to the JGU law enforcement structures.

If any cluster member observes inappropriate behavior, they are expected to take appropriate action, which could include personal intervention if it seems appropriate for the situation or reporting the event.
[1] Nature 497, 557 (2013).
[2] Nature 513, 305 (2014).