Code of Conduct

STScI strives for an inclusive and professional environment for all participants in its activities. At any time, please feel free to talk or send a message to any member of STScI staff supporting the review process if you have any concerns. For serious issues or formal complaints, please contact Neill Reid (Associate Director for Science), Alessandra Aloisi (Mission Head, Science Mission Office), Elena Sabbi (Deputy Head, Science Mission Office), Laura Watkins (Deputy Mission Head, Science Mission Office), Claus Leitherer (Head of HST Science Policies).

All Participants

All participants in the proposal review process (including STScI staff and observers) are expected to:

  • Read the Review Information Guide and familiarise themselves with their role and responsibilities.
  • Complete their contributions in a timely fashion, or communicate when this will not be possible. 
  • Be mindful of bias in all contexts.
  • Be respectful in any written or verbal communications you have as part of the review process.
  • Step in to address abusive or bullying behavior.
  • Be respectful of all regardless of differences (professional or otherwise).
  • Actively help create an environment free of harassment.

Virtual Panelists

In addition, virtual panelists are expected to:

  • Be prepared and contribute to the panel review.
  • Evaluate the scientific merit of the proposal.
  • Be an active participant in the discussions.
  • Not interrupt others or talk over others.
  • Keep comments succinct and to the point and thus give everyone the opportunity to contribute to the discussion.
  • Be polite and professional in your written feedback comments, especially when providing critical comments.

Panel Chairs and Vice Chairs

In addition to the code of conduct for virtual panelists, Chairs and Vice Chairs are expected to:

  • Lead by example in creating the appropriate environment for free and professional discussion.
  • Lead the panel in an inclusive and welcoming way and respond immediately to any abusive, bullying or unprofessional behavior.
  • Proactively encourage participation of reviewers who may be less experienced at panel reviews.
  • Proactively solicit input from each panel member in the discussion of each proposal; ensure that the discussion is not dominated by a few reviewers.
  • Keep the discussion moving and end on time to allow for sufficient time and discussion for all the proposals in the panel.
  • Keep the discussion focused on the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal, and no other tangential topics.

External Panelists

In addition, external panelists are expected to:

  • Evaluate the scientific merit of the proposal.
  • Be polite and professional in your written feedback comments, especially when providing critical comments.

Next: Confidentiality