Ethics, Values, and Standards of Conduct | BioDiscovery Institute

Ethics, Values, and Standards of Conduct

Members of the BioDiscovery Institute--faculty, staff and students - agree to adhere to the highest professional standards of ethics, values and conduct.
(Some aspects of this Ethics, Values and Standards of Conduct are based on those of Indiana University)

THE MISSION OF BDI is to leverage existing UNT strengths while identifying opportunities to play a national and international leadership role in the basic understanding of plant processes and materials for the development of a sustainable and environmentally friendly bio-based economy.

To whom these standards apply:
The ethics values and standards of conduct apply to all members of UNT's BioDiscovery Institute (BDI) community, including:

  • All employees of UNT affiliated with the BDI, including faculty, staff, visiting faculty, visiting staff, postdocs, other employees and graduate students, undergraduate students and other students.
  • All persons who use BDI facilities and resources.
  • Volunteers affiliated with the BDI.

These ethics, values and standards of conduct are consistent with UNT and Federal policies, listed in the addenda.

Overarching values and core principles:
In the course of research, teaching and outreach to the public as part of the UNT BioDiscovery Institute, all members of the BDI community are committed to moving forward the following overarching values and core principles of BDI:

  • Excellence
  • Integrity and ethics
  • Pursuit of truth
  • Esteem for the worth and dignity of others
  • Diversity of ideas
  • Diversity of community
  • Innovation
  • Academic freedom
  • Stewardship for resources
  • Accountability for relationships
  • Sharing knowledge in an environment of learning
  • Application of knowledge and innovation to improve the economy of the region, the State of Texas, the nation and the world
  • Service, as part of UNT, to the region, the State of Texas, the nation and the world

All BDI community members make a commitment to the highest standards of integrity and ethical behavior.

Codes of Conduct

BDI holds itself and members of the BDI community to the following codes of conduct:

  1. Act ethically. Every BDI member is expected to behave ethically and with integrity. In practicing ethical conduct, BDI members are expected to:
  • Behave according to the highest professional and ethical standards.
  • Diligently carry out responsibilities toward colleagues, superiors, students, others in the BDI community and in the public when performing BDI and UNT duties.
  • Model and communicate ethical conduct through example and instruction.
  • Be accountable and responsible.
  • Conduct, report and propose research in an ethical and honest fashion.
  • Treat research animals humanely and with respect.
  • Be accountable for assuring compliance with the relevant local, regional, state, federal and international regulatory agencies.
  • Be accountable for assuring compliance with the relevant local, regional, state, federal and international research sponsors and research agencies.
  • Protect intellectual property at the individual, group, department and UNT levels.
  • Be fair in assigning authorship for research and scholarship on the basis of intellectual contributions. Contributions can be in conception and planning, design, performance of research, analysis of data, interpretation of data, preparation of manuscripts and/or editing.
  • Be fair in assigning intellectual property (IP) inventorship on the basis of contributions to development of the idea behind the IP.
  • Confirm originality of work.
  • Maintain ethical standards in teaching.

2. Be respectful to all. BDI members are dedicated to diversity, inclusion and respect for differences among individuals. When working with others, BDI members are expected to:

  • Be fair, respectful and behave in a civil manner.
  • Speak truthfully.
  • Promote and provide equal access to academic programs, employment and facilities.
  • Defend the free pursuit of knowledge among colleagues, students and other members of the BDI community.
  • Avoid all forms of discrimination, harassment or violence.
  • Promote conflict resolution.
  • Work toward objectivity in assessing colleagues, students and other members of the BDI community.

3. Act in ways to maintain and promote academic freedom in research, scholarship, and creative endeavors. BDI members accept and meet academic responsibilities.

  • Promote academic freedom and rights, including the freedom of relevant discussion in classrooms, seminars and laboratories.
  • Meet academic responsibilities.
  • Defend the freedom of intellectual pursuits at all levels.
  • Develop individual scholarly competence in oneself and others.
  • Submit new knowledge/understanding to peer review.
  • Show respect for differences of view and allow others to express their opinions and viewspoints.
  • Foster students' educational goals.
  • Maintain the ability to speak as a citizen without restraint from any institution. Acknowledge when speaking as a citizen that one is not speaking for the institution.

4. Prevent conflicts of interest. BDI members accept that they have a duty to be objective in carrying out their jobs and duties as members of the BDI community.

  • Disclose potential conflicts of interest through proper channels. Follow all requirements to manage such conflicts when they exist.
  • Ensure UNT, departmental and BDI duties receive full commitment and effort.
  • Ensure personal relationships do not interfere with academic progress, research and/or scholarship of a student, BDI member or employee.

5. Manage information. BDI members create and maintain many types of information and data, some of which is public information, while other information is private information. BDI members are expected to fulfill the public's rights to access information while at the same time respecting individual privacy and confidentiality.

  • Follow applicable local, state and federal guidelines for protection, disclosure, retention and disposal of different types of information.
  • Maintain security of electronic data.

6. Promote workspace safety. BDI members have an obligation to ensure a secure, safe, and healthy environment for all.

  • Follow safe work and research practices. Use appropriate personal safety equipment and report and strive to rectify unsafe situations. Report all accidents.
  • Maintain security.
  • Strive to protect the environment, through learning and following appropriate safety policies, including handling of potentially harmful materials or conditions. Dispose of hazardous waste appropriately.
  • Maintain a substance- and tobacco-free products workspace.

7. Maintain and promote a culture of compliance. BDI members are expected to comply with applicable policies, regulations and laws.

  • Learn and follow applicable laws, regulations and policies.
  • Be proactive to prevent violations of compliance.
  • Report non-compliance to appropriate university personnel.
  • Ensure that violations within an individual's responsibility are properly resolved.

UNT Ethics Policy 05.015:
UNT Dual Employment and Other Activities Policy 05.008:
UNT Employment of Relatives (Nepotism Rule) Policy 05.012:
UNT Use of University Non-Wireless and Wireless Telephones, Telephone Lines, Fax Machines and Personal Computing Devices Policy 14.006:
UNT Fraud Policy 04.007:
UNT Reporting Suspected Wrongdoing Policy 04.009:
UNT Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect Policy 04.010:
UNT Employment of Students for Hourly Positions Policy 05.025:
UNT Employee Awards, Gifts and Prizes Policy 05-041:
UNT Workplace Violence Policy 05-045:
UNT Online Courseware Intellectual Property Policy 06-032:
UNT Accountholder Responsibility Policy 10-005:
UNT Purchasing Services Policy 10-043:
UNT Illegal Drugs and Alcohol Policy 05-004:
UNT Prohibition of Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Policy 16-004:
UNT Sexual Harassment Policy 16-005:
UNT Conflict of Interest Resources:
UNT Risk Management:
NSF Code of Ethics:
NSF Responsible and ethics conduct of research:
NSF Conflicts of interest and standards of ethical conduct:
NSF Scientific Integrity Policy:
NIH Ethics Program Website:
NIH Ethics Program:
NIH Ethical Conduct Sourcebook:
USDA Office of Ethics:
USDA Ethics Guides:
DOE Ethics Guidelines:
DOE Ethics Principles:

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