The ISG Workshop is hosted by the Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado Boulder, and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (Grant R25 MH019918).

As a federally funded training program, organized under the auspices of the University of Colorado, we are committed to inclusiveness, non-discrimination, and fostering a positive climate that promotes excellence, respect, and responsible conduct in both our research and our professional and social interactions during the workshop.

During this week, we will include training in the Responsible Conduct of Research through daily questions intended to provoke thoughtful discussion about such topics as protecting human subjects, data sharing, authorship, rigor and reproducibility, and truthful reporting.

We are also committed to creating a positive social climate that is welcoming for everyone and promotes successful learning and professional development. We are therefore intolerant of any form of unfair treatment, abusive or demeaning words or expressions, or intimidating behavior aimed at others on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation, or political philosophy; and we are committed to maintaining a safe and respectful environment for all attendees, free from discrimination and harassment, sexual or otherwise.

If you feel that these guidelines are not being followed or are witness to harassment or inappropriate conduct, you are encouraged to report these, anonymously or otherwise, as detailed below.

We are proud of the diverse and international character of our workshop, and we ask that all participants be polite, friendly, and respectful in all of their interactions. Our demonstrated success, over 30 years and more than 2000 participants, can be eroded through inconsiderate treatment of others. Valuing individuals and their contributions and working to earn the respect of others underlies the success of our workshop.

Workshop Policy

This workshop will not tolerate inappropriate conduct or harassment, including sexual harassment. Timely and appropriate action will be taken against any individual found to be in violation of the policy outlined in this document. Retaliatory treatment towards anyone for reporting allegations of inappropriate conduct or harassment, or for participating as a witness in an inquiry, is prohibited.

What Is Harassment?

Exactly what constitutes harassment can sometimes be difficult to understand. To help clarify this somewhat, we provide below definitions of harassment as spelled out by the NIH as well as those spelled out by the University of Colorado’s Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance.

NIH policy

What follows is an abbreviated version of NIH’s policy on preventing and addressing harassment and inappropriate conduct, which can be found in its entirety here  https://policymanual.nih.gov/1311.

Inappropriate conduct:

The term "inappropriate conduct" is broader than the definitions of harassment and sexual harassment listed below to include any comments or conduct that disparages or demonstrates hostility or aversion towards any person that could reasonably be perceived as disruptive, disrespectful, offensive, or inappropriate in the workplace.  Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Actions or behaviors that adversely impact Agency operations, productivity, and/or work environment

  • Inappropriate communication such as slurs, insults, ridicule, or rude comments.

  • Inappropriate touching or any form of physical intimidation or aggression

  • Engaging in a personal relationship with someone in an inherently unequal position where there is a real or perceived authority or influence over the other’s conditions of employment; has the ability to directly impact the other’s career progression.  This may include formal and informal supervisory relationships.

  • Inappropriate gestures, expressions, pictures, or graffiti

  • Threats made against others or other threatening behavior

  • Psychological bullying or intimidation


Unwelcome, deliberate, or repeated unsolicited verbal or physical conduct that is based upon protected classes (race, color, religion, sex, and national origin), including, but not limited to, comments, gestures, graphic materials, physical contact, solicitation of favors, when:

  • Submission to or rejection of the conduct by an individual could be used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the individual; or

  • The conduct is severe or pervasive enough that it substantially interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.

Sexual harassment

A form of harassment that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.  Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Repeated attempts to establish an unwanted relationship

  • Sharing sexually inappropriate images or videos, such as pornography, with others in the workplace, or sending suggestive letters, notes, texts, or e-mails

  • Making inappropriate sexual gestures or making sexual comments about appearance, body parts, etc.

  • Staring in a sexually suggestive or offensive manner or inappropriate whistling

  • Inappropriate touching, including pinching, patting, rubbing, or purposefully brushing up against another person

  • Making offensive comments or asking questions about someone's sexual history, orientation, or gender identity

CU policy

What follows is an abbreviated version of CU’s discrimination and harassment policy, which can be found in its entirety here https://www.colorado.edu/oiec/policies/discrimination-harassment.

Discrimination & Harassment

CU Boulder policy prohibits discrimination and harassment based on protected-class identity. Unfair treatment, abusive words or expressions, or intimidating behavior aimed at any member of the campus community based on an aspect of identity protected by CU Boulder policy is reportable to the university.

The Discrimination and Harassment policy applies to behaviors committed by or against a CU student, staff, or faculty member that occur in any location on or off campus, including out of state or out of country.

What categories of identity are protected-class

Under university policy, protected-class includes race, color, national origin, pregnancy, sex, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and its expression, veteran status, and political affiliation/philosophy.

What is harassment

Harassment is defined as verbal, written, or physical conduct related to one’s protected-class identity that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment. Examples can include:

  • Identity-based jokes or comments that are unwelcome

  • Being treated differently based on identity

  • Intimidating behaviors directed at someone based on identity

What is discrimination

Discrimination occurs when an individual suffers an adverse consequence on the basis of a protected-class identity. An adverse consequence is when someone is deprived of or denied a material benefit (money, a job, resources, etc.) based on their protected-class identity. Examples can include:

  • Denial of admission to an academic program

  • Not being funded for a project or not being promoted or hired for a job

  • Being denied a reasonable accommodation, due to:

  • A religious observance 

  • Pregnancy or giving birth to a child

  • A documented medical disability

Reporting violations

Anyone attending or teaching at this workshop who believes they have experienced or witnessed harassment or inappropriate conduct is encouraged to report such behavior. This may be done anonymously, although anonymous reports may limit our ability to conduct a thorough inquiry or to take corrective action. Reports may be made via:

  • Direct submission to the local hosts, Matthew Keller. The local hosts (and any other CU faculty) are obligated to report and work with CU’s Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (below) regarding any complaint that is received.

  • A report can be submitted anonymously to Matthew Keller by using this webform.

  • Filing a complaint to the University of Colorado’s Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance https://www.colorado.edu/oiec/

  • Calling the University of Colorado’s Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance at 303-492-8855. People can contact OIEC to talk generally about a concern without revealing the identity of the individuals involved to better understand the options for addressing the situation.

Support and Resources

CU’s OIEC offers a variety of support measures to ensure a safe and nondiscriminatory environment and to reduce disruptions to daily life. OIEC balances the various needs of all involved parties. This includes providing resources for individuals who have experienced behavior prohibited under applicable policies (complainant) and those accused of prohibited conduct (respondent). For more information, please visit OIEC’s Support & Resources webpage.