Code of Conduct | ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science

This code provides a clear statement of the expectations for the professional and personal conduct of Exciton Science members. 


This code of conduct applies to all members of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science (Exciton Science). It is in addition to the code of conduct of the Exciton Science member’s University or Organisation.


Exciton Science expects professional and appropriate conduct from its members at all times. This encompasses scientific and ethical integrity, respectful behaviour towards others and equality of opportunity and treatment for everyone.

Exciton Science Values

The following values underpin the respectful and supportive workplace environment fostered within Exciton Science. All Exciton Science members are expected to contribute to forming a work environment that is equitable, inclusive and free from any form of harassment or discrimination according to these values.

  • We recognise and value the professionalism, skills and experience of all our members and their contributions to scientific research and to Exciton Science.
  • We value and promote gender equality throughout Exciton Science and STEM.
  • We respect and value all diversity, including but not limited to ethnicity, race, religion, colour, age, relationship status, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, carer responsibilities, socio-economic status, mental and physical health or disability, and nationality.
  • We do not support under any circumstances discrimination on the basis of any of these attributes. 
Hallmarks of Responsible Research 

Exciton Science actively promotes scientific integrity and accountability. All Exciton Science members are expected to follow the principles of responsible research. These include

  • Promotion of responsible research practices.
  • Honesty, rigour and accountability for the development, undertaking and reporting of research. 
  • Fairness in the treatment of others.
  • Transparency in declaring interests and reporting research methodology, data and findings.
Personal Conduct

All members of Exciton Science are expected to exercise the highest level of professionalism and courtesy whilst carrying out their duties. Within the discharge of their duties, Exciton Science members must act ethically and with integrity, honesty and objectivity. All members should treat other Exciton Science members, visitors to the centre and members of the public with respect, courtesy and sensitivity.

All communication within Exciton Science and at Exciton Science events should be appropriate for a professional audience which includes people of many different backgrounds.

Exciton Science condemns, in the strongest terms possible, discrimination and harassment towards anyone. Australian laws are in place to protect the rights of all people and to protect them from discrimination and harassment. Discrimination and harassment in all forms have no place in Exciton Science and are forms of misconduct. Members of Exciton Science are required to foster an environment free from discrimination and harassment.

Harassment and sexist, racist, or exclusionary comments or jokes are inappropriate. Sexual language and imagery, along with offensive comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race or religion are also inappropriate.

What to do if you Encounter Misconduct 

Members of Exciton Science who encounter or observe professional or personal misconduct are encouraged to discuss, educate about, and/or report the issue. They can do this by contacting an Exciton Science Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee member, or any member of the Executive Committee. You can find the contacts of all members on the Exciton Science website’s ‘People’ page. Issues can also be raised anonymously via the website. Contact to reach all committee members. 

More information on the process for reporting misconduct can be found in the Misconduct Reporting Procedure on the Exciton Science website.

What We Mean by Discrimination and Harassment

Australian Laws protect people from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Discrimination is the act of treating either a person or a group of people differently from the way in which you treat other people on the basis of protected characteristics. These include (but are not limited to) ethnicity, race, religion, gender, national extraction, age, relationship status, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, carer responsibilities, socio-economic status, mental and physical health or disability, or nationality.

Harassment is any behaviour where a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the person harassed would feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. This conduct may include, but is not limited to: offensive or disrespectful verbal or written comments; bullying; slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; coercion of a sexual nature; sustained disruption of talks, or other events; telling denigrating jokes or insulting jokes about a given racial group; displaying or circulating sexually denigrating images or screensavers.

It is important to be aware that harassment is based upon the discomfort or offence that words or actions may cause. A teasing comment or offhand remark that may be inoffensive to some may be perceived as harassment by others. Individuals should act to ensure that their words and actions communicate respect for others under all circumstances. Individuals are also encouraged to let others know when behaviour directed towards them causes discomfort. Harassment can have long-lasting negative effects. At Exciton Science, all members have an obligation to promote an environment free of discrimination and harassment. It is important that members speak out about and/or report harassment whenever they see it or hear about it. Individuals who witness inappropriate behaviour directed towards someone else should also speak out. 

Related Documents

Exciton Science Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy. 

The Code of Conduct of your University or Organisation. 

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018. National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council and Universities Australia. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.

Last update 25th of March, 2020.