The Weizmann Institute of Science has an established Code of Ethical Conduct in view of maintaining and promoting the Institute's reputation for ethics and integrity. The activities and behavior of all Institute employees, trainees and guests (including administrative and scientific divisions and faculties; hereinafter: members of the Institute), should be guided by the statement of principles put forward therein.
Below are set forth a number of general principles of ethical conduct and areas in which ethical questions frequently arise. Nonetheless, in view of the complexity and variety of potential ethical questions, this Code is not intended to address every conceivable situation; rather, members of the Institute should endeavor to apply the general ethical principles detailed herein to any relevant activities carried out in the line of their research, work or studies. This Code is not intended to replace, and it may be supplemented by, specific Institute policies that have been adopted in the past and that may be adopted in the future, and any applicable legislation.
Compliance with Institute Policy, Ethical Standards and Law
All members of the Institute are expected to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and ethics and to comply – both in letter and in spirit – with any applicable laws or regulations (national, international, or of any other relevant body), and with all applicable Institute policies and procedures.
Institute financial officers are expected to conduct and process all financial transactions and reports with integrity, and to ensure that all financial and accounting records, financial reports, effort reports, and all other relevant financial documents, be accurate, clear and complete, in accordance with relevant Israeli national legislation and with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS or "Yellow Book").
Conflicts of Interest
All decisions and actions of members of the Institute are to be made for the sole purpose of advancing the best interests of the Institute. A conflict of interest exists when personal interests (direct or indirect) interfere with or are inconsistent with the best interests of the Institute, and when an individual is in a position to influence a decision on Institute policy or action from which that individual, his spouse (including common law spouse), parent, grandparent, descendant and any descendant's spouse, brother, sister, or a person with whom that individual has a substantial business and/or financial connection may benefit. In order to ensure that no conflicts exist or arise, all members of the Institute must disclose immediately any potential conflict of interest. In addition, Academic Staff are required to complete an Annual Disclosure Form.
Equality and Non-Discrimination
The Institute is committed to a policy of non-discrimination and equal treatment and opportunity with respect to all its members. All members of the Institute are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of age, gender, race, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, or any other legally protected status.
Avoidance of Gender Bias
The Institute endorses and encourages all its employees to avoid (unconscious) bias further to the principles outlined by the University of Arizona's Commission on the Status of Women.
Prevention of Sexual Harassment
Any and all forms of sexual harassment are strictly prohibited by law. Sexual harassment is a serious disciplinary offense, a criminal offense, and a cause for claims for damages against the harasser, and the Institute's administration takes a strict stand on any occurrence of sexual harassment or unfair treatment stemming from sexual harassment. In line with the instructions outlined in the law, the Institute has adopted regulations (available in Hebrew and in English) specifying the procedures for filing and handling complaints concerning sexual harassment and unfair treatment stemming from sexual harassment. Complaints should be addressed to Adv. Ilana Eyal (tel.: 08-934-3886) of the Institute's Legal Counsel's office, who has been appointed by the President of the Institute to serve as the Commissioner for Sexual Harassment Complaints. The Commissioner has explicit instructions to conduct an immediate and thorough inquiry into any complaint received. The conclusions of each inquiry are reported to the Institute's administration, which recognizes the importance of the matter and is committed to applying appropriate and impartial measures in all cases of sexual harassment.
Safety and Health
The Institute is committed to fostering a safe environment for all its members and visitors. Members of the Institute are expected to comply with all pertinent policies, laws and regulations regarding occupational safety and health, and to make every reasonable effort to avoid exposure of other Institute members and visitors to unsafe conditions and health risks.
Members of the Institute are expected to comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations. The Institute has embarked on an applied research program to promote sound environmental practices to improve energy- and water-use efficiency, environmental standards, and emergency prevention and response in buildings and on the grounds. Environment and resource conservation engineering and practices are promoted through an internal awareness and action program (lectures, labels and notices).
Academic Integrity and Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR)
The Institute expects all faculty and staff to act in line with the institute's (Academic Integrity and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Policy and Procedures). They are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity and display honesty, rigor, and responsible behavior in all activities in general, and in research and academic publishing in particular. They are required to avoid any activities traditionally defined as scientific misconduct, including falsification, fabrication or plagiarism, in proposing, performing or reviewing research or in reporting research results. They are further required to avoid any other practices that deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, including (but not limited to) manipulating authorship or denigrating the role of other researchers in publications; re-publishing of previously published results; selective citing; withholding of research results; malicious accusations of research misconduct; misrepresentation of research achievements; ignoring violations or covering up inappropriate responses to misconduct. Anyone who believes they have identified a situation of deviation from RCR at the Institute should contact directly the Institute's Vice President, who by virtue of said office is also the Institute’s Research Integrity Officer (RIO), or contact the Academic Secretary. The results of an inquiry will be reported to the Institute's President, who by virtue of his office is also the Designated Official (DO) for this purpose.
Compliance with Grant Requirements and Conditions
All members of the Institute are expected to be aware of, understand, and strictly comply with the terms and conditions of any grant or contract awarded to fund their research. Any questions or concerns regarding the legality of any aspect of a contract should be directed for legal review via the Head of the Research Grants and Projects Office.
Intellectual Property and Access to Information
Members of the Institute are expected to abide by all laws, rules and regulations governing the use of patented ideas, copyrighted or trademarked materials, licenses, and proprietary information; to honor non-disclosure agreements; to properly attribute the ideas and work of others; and to refrain from any activity that could constitute infringement of Institute or third party intellectual property. Individuals with access to any confidential or proprietary information, data, or other materials must comply with any applicable Institute rules and regulations, and applicable legislation and agreements, pertaining to access, use, protection and disclosure of such items.
Violations of the Code and Whistleblowing
Any member of the Institute who believes that he/she has witnessed or experienced a violation of the Code of Ethical Conduct or any other apparent irregularity is encouraged to report such violations to the Institute Ombudsman (“whistleblowing”). If requested, the Institute will make every reasonable effort to keep the identity of the whistleblower confidential, unless doing so would impede the Institute’s ability to conduct a full and fair investigation of the allegations. The whistleblower can in any case expect that there will be no adverse action, retribution, or other reprisal for the good faith reporting of a suspected violation of the Code of Ethical Conduct, even if the allegations ultimately prove to be without merit. That said, the Institute will pursue disciplinary action against any individual who knowingly files a false report with the intention to injure another.