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Bullying and Harassment

Bullying and any type of harassment is not tolerated in the lab. This can includes social and professional isolation, public humiliation, control and manipulation of information, emotional abuse, abusive working conditions, professional discredit and denigration, intimidation, and the devaluation of professional achievements. These behaviors will not be tolerated, even if they occur outside of working hours or the physical lab environment. Sexual harassment is included in this. sexual harassment can be anything from unwanted sexual advances (flirting), to violations of privacy, or assault.


Remember that humor is a matter of taste and culture. Please be sensitive about jokes that might be interpreted as sexist, racist, homophobic, or regarding religions and beliefs. Even if all lab members agreed that they have a “good sense of humor” we are going to behave as if we do not. Why? Our lab is training for academia and other professions so we will practice behaving as appropriate in a professional/academic setting. Comedy that pushes boundaries is a legitimate art-form. However, we are not stand-up comedians -- we are scientists.

Interpersonal interactions

You are expected to be supportive and friendly in all interactions with members of the lab, even if you are not physically at work. Always treat people the way you want to be treated, i.e. with respect. If you do have disagreements or misunderstandings with colleagues, try to see things from their perspective. Recognize that your colleagues have different duties, opinions, wishes, and skills. Like everyone else, they also make mistakes, which sometimes may affect you and your work. In such cases, help them understand how they can improve to avoid mistakes in the future. The work environment must be safe and comfortable for everyone, and free from all harassment, discrimination and bullying.

Romantic and sexual relationships

Foremost, consult university policies regarding romantic and sexual relationships in the workplace, with students and other scenarios. Secondly, Dr. Evangelista’s personal recommendation is that you avoid this in almost every scenario. Remember that engaging in a workplace relationship will inevitably make your workplace an uncomfortable place for you and others. This is the least that could go wrong. In the worst-case scenario, just imagine the worst relationship-related fallout you could have…and then that being reported to your boss/PI or HR. Is it worth it?


Where To Get Help

If you feel that you are experiencing bullying or harassment, please talk to someone. That can Dominic, colleagues from our lab or another lab you feel comfortable with, anti-bullying/graduate school officer, human resources (HR), or another member of the faculty. These people can assist you with resolving the conflict or making an official complaint. Do not be afraid to express your concerns. You are expected to call out inappropriate behavior if you witness it.

Bullying, harassment and other reporting links:
Report an incident to the U of I DEI office:
File an anonymous report to SIB:
Refer a student who is at risk or with worrisome behaviors:

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