Crick code of conduct

The Crick Code of Conduct sets the standards for everyone working at the Crick.  It outlines the behaviour that we all expect from each other.  


Everyone who works at the Crick has a valuable role to play. We all help to advance the Crick’s mission and shape our working culture and reputation.  

Our own policies, along with laws and regulations, set the rules that we follow, but many decisions require us to exercise our judgement.  These decisions can be difficult and there isn’t always a correct answer. Managers play an important role in setting an example, discussing approaches and guiding decision making.  

This code of conduct guides us to make decisions in line with the ethical principles we stand for.  It sets the standards for our behaviour, and helps us to create a safe, respectful and well-managed working environment where we can all work towards our goals. 

The law and regulation

As an organisation we are regulated by the Charity Commission and many of the institute’s activities require licences and are covered by detailed regulation, for example health and safety, and the use of animals in research.  We comply with the laws and regulations which apply to our work.

Our 10 key policies


    These policies describe the standards expected of every member of the Crick community, and cover areas such as how we treat each other and our resources.  Everyone who works at the Crick is required to adhere to these policies:

    1. Understand the Crick's approach to open science and science with integrity

    Open science

    Research outputs such as publications, datasets and discoveries are a public good. We ensure that they are as accessible and usable as possible to promote scientific discourse, accelerate the movement of research findings to application for health and societal benefit, and to foster public engagement with our science. In doing this we:

    • Ensure that we meet all recognised external standards  
    • Publish the results of our research openly with minimum delay
    • Share information and ideas openly within the Crick
    • Follow all requirements in relation to unpublished and/or confidential information
    • Declare conflicts of interest and comply with any agreed mitigating actions
    • Never communicate unpublished or confidential research information outside the Crick unless with specific permission of the data owner.

    Doing science with integrity


      We ensure that research is carried out by properly trained people, in accordance with the law, and to the highest ethical and professional standards. Research findings are reliable and properly recorded and retained, with rigorous and objective science quality assurance processes applied in a fair and consistent manner. In doing this we:

      • Follow all the Crick’s practices and policies relevant to research integrity
      • Ensure that research is planned, carried out, recorded and overseen by properly trained people using validated materials and calibrated equipment
      • Ensure that research is carried out in accordance with all licencing requirements and recognised external standards
      • Record and preserve accurate and complete records during our research
      • Declare conflicts of interest and comply with any agreed mitigating actions
      • Never manipulate, fabricate or falsify results
      • Avoid all plagiarism.

      2. Work together with dignity, respect and integrity to create an environment where our people can thrive

      Treating each other with dignity and respect

      We treat each other respectfully and are always active bystanders. We don’t ignore unacceptable behaviour that we see or are aware of. We foster an environment in which bullying, harassment and victimisation are acknowledged as unacceptable behaviour. In doing this we:

      • Consider our tone and treat everyone with respect and dignity
      • Commit to creating equality of opportunity and to promoting diversity and inclusivity 
      • Understand that perceptions of what is acceptable vary, and try to understand the sensitivities of others and respect personal boundaries
      • Respect confidentiality
      • Are constructive and sensitive in giving feedback
      • Treat our people the same at work and outside office hours
      • Never threaten, abuse or harass someone, either physically or verbally
      • Avoid language or gestures which may cause offense
      • Never shout at, humiliate, belittle or isolate colleagues.

      Working with integrity

      We ensure that all our work is carried out by properly trained people, in accordance with the law, and to the highest ethical and professional standards.  Our work is reliable and properly recorded and retained.  In doing this we:

      • Follow all the Crick’s policies 
      • Ensure that work is planned, carried out, documented and overseen by properly trained people 
      • Ensure that work is carried out in accordance with recognised external standards
      • Record and preserve accurate and complete records 
      • Declare conflicts of interest and comply with any agreed mitigating actions
      • Never manipulate, fabricate or falsify information.

      3. Work together to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of ourselves, our colleagues and our neighbours

      As members of the Crick community we ensure that employees, visitors, neighbours and the wider community are protected and safe while working, that we follow work practices for our role, take care of our health and wellbeing, and raise any safety concerns by reporting incidents and accidents. We do this in various ways as described below.

      Health and safety

      • Strive towards achieving best practice in terms of health and safety 
      • Take the health and safety of ourselves and our colleagues seriously
      • Understand the potential consequences and risks that we create and take responsibility for minimising those risks
      • Welcome audits and inspections, incorporating recommendations into our working practices
      • Report accidents and incidents as required
      • Do the training we are required to do, and follow the SHS guidance for safety.

      Mental and physical wellbeing

      • Take breaks and use our holiday entitlement
      • Ensure colleagues are not expected to be available outside their required hours of work or on holiday (unless their role has specific requirements), and think carefully about the timing of emails and messages
      • Provide support to colleagues who are struggling to cope
      • Take effective, swift action when wellbeing issues are raised 
      • Avoid creating a culture of presenteeism
      • Never discriminate against colleagues who experience mental health difficulties
      • Don’t expect or allow colleagues to work (even remotely) if they are unwell
      • Never smoke in or around the building 

      Physical security

      • Accompany our visitors and take responsibility for their safety 
      • Wear our security badges and challenge anyone who is entering the building or a restricted area without authority
      • Take care of Crick equipment and our own valuables inside and outside the Crick
      • Book all work-related travel and accommodation in line with the travel policy so that support and advice can be provided when you travel, and to ensure you are covered by Crick travel insurance

      Information security and acceptable use of IT

      • Only use Crick IT systems to share data relating to our work
      • Keep devices safe and secure, maintain them in good working order, and return them to the helpdesk when a team member leaves the Crick
      • Contact the helpdesk for advice before using external systems or data
      • Report any damage, loss or theft to the helpdesk
      • Report any suspicious emails to the helpdesk
      • Only use encrypted external storage devices provided by the helpdesk
      • Don’t click on links or open attachments in suspicious emails
      • Never share work information via personal email or social media accounts
      • Never access illegal or pornographic material, hate speech or offensive material
      • Never download illegal or copyrighted material
      • Never create accounts for free services using your Crick ID or brand them as affiliated with the Crick
      • Never purchase or download software packages or platforms except through the IT&S team

      4. Work together to make the most of resources by being financially and environmentally responsible

      As members of the Crick community we optimise our work to make the most efficient use of our charitable resources. As guardians of the Crick’s financial and material resources we make every effort to ensure they are used efficiently, that our money is well spent and that our working practices avoid waste. In doing this we:

      • Ensure that we abide by our purchasing and procurement guidelines to ensure, transparency and good value for money for the Crick 
      • Look after our assets to maximise their use and prolong their life
      • Only spend money and claim expenses (including travel and accommodation) which are reasonable and properly incurred in pursuit of the Crick’s activities
      • Only use Crick money for legitimate Crick activity  
      • Book work related travel and accommodation in line with the travel policy 
      • Use internal resources and facilities on a limited basis
      • Only give and receive gifts and hospitality which are modest and not likely to raise concerns of improper influence

      What do we do if actions or behaviours do not align with our expectations?

      What do you need to do?

      • Speak up if you see or are aware of any inappropriate behaviour relating to any areas covered by our policies or this code of conduct
      • Speak up if you see or are aware of any safety concerns; security issues; incidents, issues or risks in relation to information security or data protection; or any wellbeing incidents or concerns
      • Take complaints or concerns seriously and report them to the appropriate team or manager
      • If you don’t feel able to talk to your manager, ask HR for advice

      What will the Crick do?

      • Take concerns seriously, and follow up with the appropriate action
      • Provide a route for you to report issues confidentially
      • Never tolerate retaliation