Code of Conduct

While the text that follows has been discussed with multiple members of the lab it may not be complete. If you have thoughts about anything you see in this manual that you disagree with or that you think could be improved, please discuss with Joe.


The lab is a place where everyone is expected both to support and to be supported. We are all part of a community and when we approach the lab with a mind toward learning and teaching, we can all be our best selves.

  • Please keep your lab area clean and contribute to the maintenance of the lab. Ella assigns lists of pod duties as well – these are important for the safe and effective operation of the lab.
  • Interaction among lab members works best when people are in the lab at the same time. While I understand that people have different preferred work times and some people have other time commitments, please strive to ensure that your time in the lab overlaps that of other lab members. Everyone is expected to contribute their knowledge and expertise to help other lab members troubleshoot their projects. Making a positive contribution to the general lab environment promotes the common good is appreciated both by Joe and by the other members of the lab and the TMU community.
  • Please be mindful of the time and the efforts of other members of the lab. Planning experiments involves thinking about what you will need before you need it. Check on stocks of critical reagents, enzymes, materials etc before you begin the work. Interrupting other team members’ work because of your failure to plan can be disrespectful of their time.
  • Please accept responsibility and feedback for any mistakes you make. Mistakes are an inevitable part of research – the key is to think about what you’ve learned as a result of that mistake.
  • Teaching and training others as well as communicating your results are a critical part of becoming a scientist. It takes a great deal of skill to prepare a talk, give a journal club, write a paper or present a poster. In my lab, you will have the opportunity to do all of these things. We all learned how to do science from people around us and we have a responsibility to pay that back by doing the same for the scientists who come after us. Your effort in training new people who enter the lab is a very important role and it is also one that I note favourably when it comes to writing reference letters.

Creating an Inclusive environment

A key part of creating an inclusive environment is being aware of how your language and behaviour affects others. Jokes and gossip that exclude others, that reinforce stereotypes or that are offensive are not appropriate in the lab environment. Be considerate not just of what your intent in making a statement might be, but in how someone else might feel about hearing it. If you wouldn’t make a comment directly to somebody, it’s probably best not to say it at all. In particular, offensive or hurtful comments about gender identity, physical appearance, mental or physical illness or disability, age, ethnicity, religion or lifestyle are not appropriate in the McPhee lab.

During lab meetings and other group activities, the input and thoughts of all members from the most junior undergraduate volunteer to senior graduate students and Dr. McPhee are valued and valuable. Being new to research does not mean that your thoughts, questions and opinions are not valued. Please try to wait for others to finish speaking before responding and allow everyone to ask their questions and get answers until they are satisfied.

Harassment is not tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to, unwanted physical, sexual or social contact. If someone tells you that your behaviour is making them uncomfortable, please stop immediately. Threats, whether explicit or implied are also a form of harassment and can include threats to post information about someone that they might not want posted to social media networks or other public fora.

Any thoughts or comments about this should be discussed with Joe. If you feel like you’d prefer to bring my attention to something anonymously, please use the following Google Form

Holiday/vacation policy

The schedule of TMU recognized holidays can be found here:

In addition, while TMU may not recognize or give time off for every different religious or cultural holiday, I encourage trainees to take these days for reflection or to spend time with family as is desired. Vacations are an important part of recharging and resetting and I encourage all trainees to take time for this really critical part of their lives. For both non TMU holidays or for longer vacations, just let Joe know when you will be away.

Problem/conflict resolution

The lab is a place where you should feel comfortable and where interpersonal problems do not interfere with your ability to work, to think and to be the best scientist you can be. If you have a general problem (clean up, etiquette, misplacing items) please bring it up in our lab meetings so that the problem can be addressed. If you have a problem with another lab member or with any other aspect of lab life, please tell me so that I can address the problem as soon as possible. If you have any personal, health or other issues that are affecting your ability to work, please let me know so that we can work toward a solution. You can also make an anonymous comment by submitting to the following Google Form

I want the lab to be a place where all of us can be the best version of yourself that you can. To that end, harassment, disrespect, intimidation etc toward other members of the lab or to anyone else within the TMU community will not be tolerated. Please let me know as soon as possible if you have an issue that I can help resolve.