Code of Conduct

We in the Princeton Physics Department seek to foster an environment where all members are supported as individuals and as scientists, regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, and disability status. In doing so, we aim to create a vibrant, diverse and inclusive community that works together to educate and advance scientific inquiry. This Code of Conduct establishes guidelines so that constructive and productive interactions can be held on the basis of mutual trust and respect. It applies to all faculty, staff, researchers, and students, even when they act as representatives of the Department off campus or online. The Code also applies to visitors, affiliates, and contractors who join our community on a shorter term basis.

Respect and support department members:

  • Be courteous in your interactions
  • Refrain from personally critical comments
  • Give colleagues a chance to voice their thoughts
  • Respect the professional, physical, and personal boundaries of colleagues
  • Clearly distinguish professional comments from opinions based on personal views
  • Be aware of power differentials, and act to empower those in more junior positions
  • Promote equity amongst colleagues and trainees in access to opportunities, including networking that happens in a social context
  • Ensure that, when offered, criticism is constructive and aims to create positive discussion
  • Avoid judging, discriminating, or making unwelcome jokes or disparaging remarks based on stereotypes
  • Support those who report violations of departmental or University policy

Commit to openness:

  • Be receptive to discussions of ways to improve the work environment and work relationships
  • Challenge your own assumptions about people and the sources of those assumptions
  • Take it upon yourself to eliminate particular challenges or barriers to success that colleagues may face as members of under-represented groups
  • Do not engage in any overt or perceived retaliation against others

Take initiative:

  • Intervene when others are exhibiting conduct unbecoming of a community member
  • Speak up when colleagues are disrespectful of a group or class of people, even when members of that group are not present
  • Seek opportunities for education/training on diversity, inclusivity, reporting, and bystander intervention techniques, and encourage others to do the same
  • Acquaint yourself with University policy as set forth in Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities. Definitions and examples of bias, discrimination, and harassment can be found here.


Report violations:

The Department of Physics values the initiative of its members who identify and speak up about potential problems that need to be addressed. To this end, the Department strongly encourages members of our community to report suspected violations of the Code of Conduct and/or University policy. To report a violation, individuals may contact the Department's Code of Conduct Committee (CCC) at [email protected] or reach out to individual committee members:

All reports received by the department will be investigated fully.

Individuals submitting a report to the CCC may describe the issue in an email or request a meeting with a representative from the committee. The CCC will keep individuals informed of the committee's reporting obligations to the University and of any conclusions reached by the investigation before taking action. The CCC can also provide guidance to individuals who wish to report their concerns through other avenues with varying levels of confidentiality and/or anonymity, including but not limited to:

Undergraduate students also have access to a network of Physics Listeners --- undergraduates with training from e.g. SHARE, the Carl A. Fields Center, Peer Health Advisors, or the Gender + Sexuality Resource Center --- allowing them to report to or seek guidance from peers.

We understand that some individuals may be reluctant to report their concerns due to fears of retaliation. More on the retaliation policy may be found here.

This Code of Conduct will be reviewed and updated periodically.