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CUR Code of Conduct

This policy outlines the Code of Conduct for all members, volunteers, and community participants of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and summarizes the behavior expected of members and volunteers representing CUR in any forum or private correspondence, along with CUR community programming participants. CUR is dedicated to hosting safe and productive experiences for all members of the CUR community.  CUR will not tolerate discrimination, or any form of unlawful harassment, and is committed to enforcing this Code of Conduct (the “Code”) at all CUR events, programming, governance meetings, and in any instance where an individual is presenting on behalf of CUR.  As a professional society, the CUR is committed to providing an atmosphere that encourages the free expression and exchange of ideas as they relate to undergraduate research.  Furthermore, CUR upholds the philosophy of equal opportunity for and treatment of all community participants and staff whether in person or online.

Program and Event Attendees

As students, faculty, organizations, and institutions involved in undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry, we have the professional and ethical responsibility to maintain the highest professional conduct standards and embody the CUR Code of Ethics for Undergraduate Research in our words, actions, and deeds.

All participants are expected to abide by the Code of Conduct. Expectations for participants are to show courtesy and civility to all conference attendees and event staff; conduct oneself in a manner both professional and ethical; avoid engaging in any inappropriate behavior such as discrimination or harassment. Every interaction you have should be appropriate and considerate of the wide audience of attendees.

  • Examples of behavior that is encouraged: 
    • Use of language that is welcoming to all, including phrasing of questions thoughtfully so as not to bring down anyone
    • Understanding and being respectful of different viewpoints and opinions
    • Committing oneself to the overall enjoyment of the event by all
    • Showing compassion and empathy to other participants
  • Behavior that is unacceptable: 
    • Harassment or discrimination of any person at any time
    • Verbally abusing or attacking any conference attendee in any way. Verbal/online abuse includes but is not limited to comments about any person’s gender, physical appearance, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion, national origin, inappropriate use of photos or graphics that are sexual in nature, making threats to another participant.
    • Disruption of any presentation or other activity that takes place during the event
    • Presentations, postings, and messages that contain promotional materials, special offers, job offers, product announcements, or solicitation for services. CUR reserves the right to remove such messages and potentially ban sources of those solicitations.
    • Copying or taking screenshots of Q&A or any chat room activity that takes place in-person or virtually.


CUR will not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any kind at any session, event, affiliated event, or on social media platforms (Twitter, conference chat functions, etc).

CUR reserves the right to exercise judgment and act appropriately in response to unacceptable behavior, including removal from the event without prior warning or refund of the registration fee. CUR also reserves the right to prohibit attendance in a future CUR-affiliated event, in-person or virtual, should the need arise.

CUR is committed to providing a safe, welcome, and inclusive meeting environment for all participants. If you believe you have experienced or witnessed a violation of this Code of Conduct, we ask that you immediately notify the conference organizers at cur@cur.org so that we may take immediate action.  Anyone experiencing or witnessing unacceptable behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to personal or public safety should immediately contact premise security and/or local law enforcement.

This code of conduct will be enforced by conference organizers. Cooperation from participants is mandatory to ensure a safe experience for all participants. Thank you for helping to make our events a welcoming, inclusive space for all.

For additional policies pertaining to events, please view them here

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CUR Online Community


By using CUR online forums, you agree that you have read and will follow these rules and guidelines. You also agree to limit discussions and shared files to content applicable to CUR’s mission. CUR is strongly committed to the wide expression of all forms and topics of undergraduate research, by all members of the undergraduate research community, and views with great concern any actions or policies that affect that commitment to inclusivity. CUR’s programs serve as “home” for all champions and practitioners of undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry. CUR is committed to diversity and inclusion for all people, regardless of race, sex, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. This forum will provide a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for all participants.

  • The Rules
    • Don't engage in personal or ad hominem attacks of others. The discussions and comments are meant to stimulate conversation, not to create contention. Let others have their say, just as you may. 
    • Don't post commercial messages on any discussion list, resource library entry, or other area where others might see it. Contact people directly with product and service information if you believe it would help them.  Open positions or other opportunities may be posted in the Job and Opportunity Board.  Only enhanced and institutional members will be able to post.  Any CUR member may view the postings.
    • Use caution when discussing products. Information posted on the lists and in the libraries is available for all to see, and comments are subject to defamation and antitrust laws. 
    • All defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, or illegal materials are strictly prohibited. Do not post anything that you would not want the world to see or that you would not want anyone to know came from you. 
    • Please note carefully all items listed in the disclaimer and legal rules below, particularly regarding the copyright ownership of information posted. 
    • Remember that other participants have the right to reproduce postings to this site unless you specify otherwise. Any reproduction should include attribution to both the Council on Undergraduate Research and the author of the post.
    • Post your message or documents only to the most appropriate lists or libraries. Do not spam several lists or libraries with the same message.
    • All messages must add to the body of knowledge. CUR reserves the right to reject any message for any reason.
       
  • Discussion Group Etiquette
    • Include a signature tag on all messages. Include your name, affiliation, and location.
    • State concisely and clearly the topic of your comments in the subject line. This allows members to respond more appropriately to your posting and makes it easier for members to search the archives by subject. 
    • If you quote the original message in your reply, only include the relevant portions of the original message. Delete any header information, omit irrelevant text, and put your response before the original posting. 
    • Only send a message to the entire list when it contains information that can benefit everyone. 
    • Send messages such as "thanks for the information" or "me, too" to individuals—not to the entire list. Do this by using the "Reply to Sender" link to the left of every message.
    • Do not send administrative messages such as "remove me from the list." Instead, use the web interface to change your settings, subscribe to a list, or remove yourself from a list. If you are changing e-mail addresses, you do not need to remove yourself from the list and rejoin under your new e-mail address. Simply change your settings. 
    • When posting lengthy messages, place either in the subject line or at the beginning of the message body the phrase "Long Message." 
       
  • The Legal Stuff
    • This site is provided as a service for the members of The Council on Undergraduate Research. CUR is not responsible for the opinions and information posted on this site by others. We disclaim all warranties with regard to information posted on this site, whether posted by CUR or any third party; this disclaimer includes all implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall CUR be liable for any special, indirect, or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data, or profits, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of any information posted on this site. CUR does not endorse any material posted on this site.

    • Do not post any defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, or illegal materials. Do not post any information or other material protected by copyright without the permission of the copyright owner. By posting material, the posting party warrants and represents that they own the copyright with respect to such material or has received permission from the copyright owner. In addition, the posting party grants CUR and users of this site the nonexclusive right and license to display, copy, publish, distribute, transmit, print, and use such information or material.

    • Messages should not be posted if they encourage or facilitate members to arrive at any agreement that either expressly or implicitly leads to price fixing, a boycott of any business, or other conduct intended to illegally restrict free trade. Messages that encourage or facilitate an agreement about the following subjects are inappropriate: prices, discounts, or terms or conditions of sale; salaries; profits, profit margins, or cost data; market shares, sales territories, or markets; allocation of customers or territories; or selection, rejection, or termination of customers or suppliers.

    • CUR does not actively monitor the site for inappropriate postings and does not on its own undertake editorial control of postings. However, in the event that any alleged inappropriate posting is brought to the attention of CUR, CUR will take appropriate action to remedy the matter in CUR’s discretion.  If you feel that a post is inappropriate, you may mark it as such, and it will be removed from the site until it can be reviewed. 

    • CUR reserves the right to terminate access to any user who does not abide by these guidelines.

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Social Media Guidelines

Through social media platforms, those in the undergraduate research community can share information, stimulate discussion, discuss problems, seek support, nurture collaboration, and build connections as they work to advance the undergraduate research enterprise at local, regional, national, and international levels. CUR members advocate for undergraduate research and the organization itself in both their personal and professional lives, including in the social media sphere.

The purpose of CUR’s Social Media Guidelines is to provide guidance to (1) CUR volunteers administering and posting on CUR’s social media accounts and (2) CUR members who may hold a CUR leadership positions and will be posting from their personal social media accounts about CUR-related matters.

When crafting content for social media concerning CUR, please keep the following guidelines in mind: 

  • Social media accounts of CUR should reflect the mission, goals, and code of ethics of CUR.
  • CUR always appreciates sharing of posts from CUR social media accounts and members publicizing CUR news, initiatives, events, membership, and publications with CUR hashtags and links to CUR content.
  • Posts on behalf of CUR should strive for balance. For example, the CUR Social Sciences Division might seek to ensure that its postings reflect a variety of fields within the social sciences (e.g., anthropology, linguistics, political science). For social media accounts of CUR, it is helpful if tweets and posts can feature different institutions and programs so that they receive an equitable share of the social media limelight.
  • It is helpful to place priority on tweets and posts pertaining to undergraduate research at CUR member institutions (consult the CUR member directory) and a variety of institution types (e.g., community colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, public and private institutions). Consistent with CUR’s emphasis on equity and inclusion, posts reflecting the diversity of students, faculty, and administrators also are appreciated.
  • Social media platforms vary in user expectations regarding the frequency of posts. Ascertain the appropriate posting frequency to be used for the particular platform.
  • Look for engagement opportunities such as colleagues or organizations that can be befriended or followed. CUR has benefited from colleagues and organizations that have shared CUR’s posts.
  • Before tweeting, posting, retweeting, or reposting, check the spelling and grammar of posts as well as any links to ensure they are still valid and any deadlines have not passed. Use hashtags and relevant Twitter handles to promote connections and dissemination (e.g., #undergraduateresearch, #STEM, @BlackPhysicists for physics items that would appeal to a diverse audience).
  • Stumped for content? Topics of interest to the CUR audience can include mentoring resources (e.g., mentoring of undergraduates, building of faculty mentoring skills, student peer mentoring, navigating mentor-mentee relationships) and resources that may assist undergraduates in conducting and presenting their research. Posts on undergraduate presentation and grant opportunities, or opportunities involving faculty-undergraduate collaborations, may find a receptive audience. Posts on undergraduate internship openings involving research can be of interest, but it is a good idea to check before posting that these opportunities are legitimate, have not expired, and are paid or offer a stipend.
  • Setting up a content calendar may assist in organizing and scheduling posts to coincide with special days/months of the year (e.g., February’s Black History Month) or platform-specific designations (e.g., Twitter’s “Throwback Thursday”). CUR’s Undergraduate Research Week (scheduled each spring) provides an opportunity for featuring campus undergraduate research events and activities on social media.
  • Be courteous. A lively debate of interesting questions can result in the exchange of valuable information and perspectives, but posting of statements, photos, video, or audio that could be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening, intimidating, harassing, bullying, or disparaging of others is to be avoided.
  • Be honest and accurate. If a mistake is made in a post or tweet, correct it swiftly. Be transparent about any previous posts that have been amended.
  • Be ethical. Verify that any news posted is accurate and provide proper credit when sharing content generated by others. Be mindful of copyright, fair use, and intellectual property rights.
  • If individuals posting are serving in CUR positions such as division chair, be mindful that some readers may view individuals holding CUR positions as official spokespeople for CUR. Because of this possibility, adding a disclaimer such as “the views posted on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CUR” may be advisable. If commenting about something CUR-related, it is recommended that a disclosure be included such as “I serve as a CUR Councilor” (or the appropriate position title). Should an inquiry from a media representative be received, please direct the individual to CUR Executive Officer Lindsay Currie.
  • Check and amend privacy settings as necessary, monitor accounts regularly for abuse (such as inappropriate postings by others), and take appropriate actions for abuse (such as blocking/reporting of spam accounts).
  • Do not post content that contain language or illustrations that are libelous, defamatory, offensive, or violate third party’s privacy rights or proprietary rights. Because CUR is a 501(c)(3) organization, do not post content that endorse any candidate or office holder or partisan political position.
     

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Community Participants


This policy applies to all persons involved in any way in the Council on Undergraduate Research community and summarizes the behavior expected of participants in any CUR forum, public meeting, or private correspondence. In addition, all members are expected to adhere to the CUR Code of Ethics.

  1.  Abusive language or actions, including any form of harassment, peer pressure, intimidation, or bullying will not be tolerated. Additionally, we will not tolerate discrimination against another community participant, member, volunteer, or staff.
  2.  Acting in a professional manner is expected, including behaviors that are courteous and considerate, and communications that are honest, fact-based, and politically neutral.
  3.  Hold themselves to the highest standards of professional behavior, with honesty and integrity, and treat others with equity, fairness, and respect.
  4.  Contribute to an environment that is welcoming, inclusive, safe, open, and professional.
     

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Volunteers

Council on Undergraduate Research Conflict of Interest Policy states: In order to ensure that all CUR volunteers understand their duties and obligations to the organization, they are asked to review this statement annually. If at any time during the year, issues arise in which they feel there may be a conflict of interest, they are to announce this conflict to the CUR Executive Board, which will resolve any actual or potential conflicts. In many cases, no action beyond simply informing of the conflict is necessary. In other cases, a person may decline to participate in a vote or discussion. In more extreme cases, a person may feel that they can no longer continue in service to CUR because of a more permanent conflicting duty or responsibility.

  • All dealings by which individuals engage in CUR official activities for pay (e.g., stipends for work on grants or authorship) will be a part of the public records of CUR. The purpose of the payment will be clearly stated, and work performed will be documented. CUR members are expected to report such income to the IRS as required by law.
  • The CUR Executive Board may engage fellow board members to perform services for the organization that would ordinarily be obtained from outside sources (accountants, lawyers, publishers, computer experts, financial advisors, etc.), but the bidder is subject to the same standards of competitive bid and review that obtain under ordinary circumstances. CUR will endeavor to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest; it will hire its own for professional services only under the circumstance when there is compelling reason to do so and all potential for conflict and hard feelings have been explored and are understood by all parties. In such circumstances, a written contract detailing expectations will be signed by the CUR President and individual involved and filed with the National Office. 
  • CUR board and council members will report any personal interest that they or their immediate family members have in CUR business and will recuse themselves from debating and voting upon issues where there is such an interest.
  • CUR members are members of many other groups, some of which may be in competition with CUR under some circumstances such as in the preparation of funding proposals. CUR councilors and board members will honor appropriate confidentiality of CUR internal workings with respect to other organizations. Present CUR Councilors and board members (and those seeking election to these bodies) will divulge any potential or current conflict of interest that they have with respect to other organizations. CUR leaders serve for the purpose of promoting the interests of CUR, and pledge to use confidential information that they receive while serving CUR only for that purpose. Internal meeting notes, grant proposals, and other sensitive information will remain within the CUR organization and not be shared externally.
     

Council on Undergraduate Research Confidentiality Policy states: This policy has been set in place to maintain the confidentiality of the constituencies of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). In addition to the policies listed below volunteers agree to abide by the CUR Code of Ethics. As a volunteer of CUR, you may be exposed to certain confidential information related to CUR and our constituents.  We emphasize how important it is for this information to be kept confidential and not disclosed at any time and under any circumstance, other than as directed by a CUR staff liaison. Therefore, as a condition of your service and in recognition of the importance of the work to be undertaken it is necessary that you agree to the following: 

  • You will not disclose or cause to be disclosed to anyone outside of your volunteer team or CUR employees, any confidential information related to the past, present or future work as a volunteer.
  • You will keep all such confidential information in a safe and secure place.
  • Upon completion of your volunteer project, you may be asked to return items to the CUR staff, or to destroy/delete, the confidential information you have been sent or acquired.
  • You will not use any of the confidential information derived from your service, in any way to the competitive harm or other detriments of CUR or its constituents.
     

Definition of Constituent Information: CUR constituents include, but are not limited to, members, donors, volunteers, program and award applicants, and staff. Constituent information includes, but is not limited to directory/ contact information, engagement history, background information, financial information, and applications and their supporting materials. Records on computers, phones, voicemails, emails, or hard copy files are all considered sensitive information and should be treated as such.

Access to Constituent Information: Employees, volunteers, and independent contractors all have an ethical obligation to respect the privacy of CUR constituents and to protect and maintain their confidentiality. Such individuals shall not disclose constituent information to any unauthorized individual without prior written consent from CUR. CUR Volunteers: 

  • Shall maintain high standards and integrity, and shall be professional in dealings with other members, volunteers, and staff.
  • Must understand the nature of their role and responsibilities within CUR.  Volunteers must keep their activities within the scope and boundaries of their roles and remain accountable to responsible authorities within CUR (the Board, Committee Chairs, and Officers of CUR).
  • Agree that any intellectual property developed by a volunteer in the course of their role with the CUR (for example, guidebooks, training resources, promotional materials) is the property of CUR.
  • Will be honest and transparent with each other (and themselves) with regards to what can realistically be committed to.
  • Will communicate as soon as possible if they cannot complete a project they have committed to and or can no longer fulfill their responsibilities.
  • Will be mindful when making statements (i.e., verbal or written) or taking actions based on personal views that are NOT attributed to CUR unless duly authorized by applicable CUR procedures. Personal boundaries set by others must be observed.
     

These are minimum standards and by no means cover every contingency. However, any material failure to comply with these standards will be sufficient grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination of the individual from their volunteer position.

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Violations

Any CUR member, volunteer, staff, or community participant may file a complaint against another CUR member, volunteer, or community participant. Claims shall be filed within ninety (90) days of the incident. Investigation and decisions on complaints shall not result in any disciplinary actions against the complainant unless the complaint was made in bad faith. Specifically, for the Eboard, Divisions, and Committees, if the Chair or President observes any unacceptable behavior during meetings or conference calls, the member should be asked to leave immediately. NOTE: Any physical threats or physical (or attempted) assaults should be immediately reported to local law enforcement without any requirement for CUR involvement.

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Complaint Process

The CUR Executive Officer shall maintain a confidential log of all complaints registered. This will facilitate timely compliance with the procedures noted below.

CUR will promptly and impartially investigate the facts and circumstances of any claim of inappropriate conduct or harassment at CUR activities, on CUR forums, or at CUR events, but only with the approval and cooperation of the individual(s) who experienced harassment.  CUR will make every effort to keep the reporting individual’s complaint confidential and will not share personal information other than to the investigator(s); however, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed (for example, although efforts will be made to reduce the chances, it may be possible to infer something about the person(s) involved based upon the situation under question and information about the complaint and the individual making the complaint will need to be disclosed to the individual who the complaint is made against).

  • Notwithstanding, CUR reserves the right, upon receipt of a complaint, if in CUR's sole reasonable discretion, the nature of such complaint requires the immediate removal of an individual in order to ensure that any CUR forum may proceed safely and without undue interruption, to remove an individual without undertaking an investigation as described herein. 
  • Any individual may submit a formal written complaint via an email to the CUR Executive Officer outlining the following:
    • Complainant's full name and contact information - phone and email
    • Name of person(s) that this complaint is levied against
    • Does the complainant wish to remain anonymous during the investigation? CUR will fully strive to maintain confidentiality. 
    • Approximate date and time of the event prompting this complaint
    • Full details explaining the incident prompting this complaint
    • Did the complainant feel physically threatened or harassed by the person(s) involved prompting this complaint?
  • The Executive Committee shall review all complaint forms submitted within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt.
  • CUR’s Executive Officer shall notify the complainant of the Executive Committee’s decision to initiate or not initiate an investigation. If the Executive Committee determines to initiate an investigation of the complaint, CUR’s Executive Officer shall also notify the accused member(s) of the complaint, the allegations in the complaint, and CUR’s intent to investigate the matter. The accused member(s) shall be entitled to submit evidence to the Executive Committee in their defense.
  • A designated investigator may be secured to investigate the complaint through witness interviews/statements, interviews with the accused individual(s), review of documents or materials, and/or involvement of local law enforcement, as appropriate. A specific timeline for the investigation cannot be predicted in advance, as it may depend upon the nature of the allegations and the investigation process. Every effort will be made to act upon the investigation in a prompt and timely manner. Upon completion of the investigation, CUR will take corrective measures against any person who has engaged in conduct in violation of this policy, if CUR determines such measures are necessary. 
  • CUR’s Executive Officer shall communicate the Executive Committee’s recommendation to the complainant and accused member(s).
  • The accused member(s) has/have up to fourteen (14) days in which to file an appeal with CUR’s Executive Officer and such appeal shall be provided to the CUR Executive Committee.  The Executive Committee may hold a hearing as it determines necessary or appropriate.
  • The Executive Committee shall render a decision within fourteen (14) days.
  • CUR’s Executive Officer shall notify both the complainant and accused member(s) of the final decision.
  • Those involved in the investigation, handling, or decision regarding any complaint shall adhere to applicable CUR conflict of interest policy and confidentiality procedures.
     

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Disciplinary Action

If CUR determines that an individual has engaged in prohibited conduct, CUR shall determine the appropriate action to be taken, which may include, but is not limited to a verbal warning to the accused; a written warning from the CUR President; removal of the member from volunteering in any CUR-sponsored activity; or revocation of member’s CUR membership. If the Executive Committee determines that revocation of CUR membership is appropriate, it shall refer such a decision to the CUR executive board for approval.

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Retaliation is Not Tolerated

Retaliation for complaints of inappropriate conduct or harassment are also considered harassment and will not be tolerated.  Retaliatory behavior in connection with CUR activities, on CUR forums, or at CUR events will be investigated in a similar manner to initial complaints.