SciLifeLab Code of Conduct

The SciLifeLab community recognizes the importance of a healthy and safe work environment for productivity and success. The SciLifeLab Code of Conduct guides responsible conduct in research infrastructure services and research, ensuring a respectful and healthy working environment, and a positive impact on society. The code covers ethical dimensions vital to the community’s sustainable growth, promoting responsible conduct and ethical practices. It’s a living document that will be continuously revised and improved to reflect the organization’s ambition to build a meaningful community with shared goals and values.

SciLifeLab Code of Conduct

Words from the SciLifeLab Director: Olli Kallioniemi

This document follows recent release of such guides (ALLEA, 2023), and you may have read such documents also from your home university. You may ask the question as to why SciLifeLab would need to create its own Code of Conduct.

Firstly, this document is not intended to replace any university-specific guides, but rather to serve as a complement and supplement to these.

Secondly, the nature of the SciLifeLab community differs from a typical university department. We bring together individuals from various departments and universities, many of whom are young international recruits with diverse backgrounds. Moreover, our engagement is not confined to research alone but spans infrastructure services and data science. These elements necessitate the consideration of concepts often neglected in traditional codes of conduct, such as best practices for infrastructure and issues surrounding open data and data privacy.

Thirdly, we wish to stand at the forefront in creating a progressive Code of Conduct as a tool for fostering community well-being, while embodying our commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion.

Fourthly, the SciLifeLab community has faced unique challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, raising serious concerns about maintaining the delicate balance between work and personal life. The Code of Conduct may support the efforts to manage such challenges and for discussing them in our community.

Lastly, we are at the edge of rapid technological advancements that present both vast opportunities and significant challenges. Most importantly, artificial intelligence (AI) will impact our daily life and work and will bring many emergent and even yet-to-be-identified concerns for these spaces and the Code of Conduct. Thus, there is a need for strategic planning and regular revisions.

This Code of Conduct is designed to be a living document, continually adapting and evolving to meet the needs of our dynamic community.

I want to thank the authors for their diligent work on this foundational document, and I encourage everyone to regard it as the first of its kind, ready for further development based on your feedback. Your input will help ensure this Code of Conduct truly represents our diverse community, guiding and protecting us towards a productive and responsible future.

General Introduction

A healthy and safe work environment is crucial for the productivity and success of any organization. This Code of Conduct is meant to be a guide for the SciLifeLab community in responsible conduct in their daily work and in ensuring that all activities at SciLifeLab have a positive impact on society.

As a Swedish National Research Infrastructure, SciLifeLab is unique in its character. It has a sui generis role functioning as an umbrella organization providing national wide research infrastructure services, doing life science research and handling life science data in a responsible and ethical manner. It also functions as an international Swedish collaborative organisation. 

This Code of Conduct is built around the notion that every activity conforms to the highest standards of responsible conduct. The code has also a national vision and practical role in the sense that it is beyond and in addition to the codes applied at the respective universities with focus on local teaching, training, and research. 

When people employed at various Swedish universities are assigned to SciLifeLab, they not only represent their own university but the entire country on behalf of SciLifeLab. Therefore, the organization expects the employees to have a wider perspective on ethical considerations and think beyond their own university’s Code of Conduct, and thus follow this code as part of their mission for SciLifeLab. Moreover, as a Swedish National Research Infrastructure, SciLifeLab is committed to leading the way in building a responsible research infrastructure community. The SciLifeLab Code of Conduct, therefore, must cover a broad range of ethical dimensions that are vital to the responsible and sustainable success of the SciLifeLab community.

This Code of Conduct is intended to be a living document, which we will continuously revise and improve upon.


The main goals of this code of conduct are to provide guidance:

  1. to clarify the core values and principles that SciLifeLab stands for: Contributing positively to both science and society, Excellence; Respect; Reliability; Honesty; Accountability; Objectivity; Diversity, equity and inclusion; and Sustainability
  2. to create a healthy and constructive working culture that is inclusive of all identities, backgrounds, and experiences by supporting all persons who work at or use SciLifeLab resources and services, regardless of aspects such as socioeconomic background, race, seniority, rank or title, type of work-contract, area of expertise, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, caring responsibilities, neurodivergence, cultural heritage, age, disability, or religion. 
  3. to conduct meaningful and excellent work with integrity.
  4. to build an environment where misconduct, disrespect, irresponsible practices are not tolerated.

This code of conduct presents the fundamental principles on which all work and behaviour at SciLifeLab, as a Swedish National Research Infrastructure, should be based. As such, it can be used as the basis for community expectations towards internal and external parties as SciLifeLab carries out its mission.

Ideally, this document will not only raise awareness and provide guidance on ethical standards for responsible action and behaviour at SciLifeLab, but it will also help in decision-making and empower community members faced with difficult situations in the workplace. 

To Whom Does This Code Apply?

The SciLifeLab Code of Conduct is aimed at every person working at or with SciLifeLab, or is in some way affiliated with SciLifeLab. In as far as possible, this Code of Conduct should also be used to help collaborators, contractors, consultants, interns, parties, or universities that have any form of funding from SciLifeLab to understand the expectations from the SciLifeLab community.

This code of conduct applies to all the physical sites of SciLifeLab as well as virtual communities and online spaces managed by SciLifeLab including, among others, online communication tools and forums, courses, and seminars. It also applies to the entire SciLifeLab community, including but not limited to management, fellows, group leaders, support staff, students, infrastructure leaders and users, training and teaching faculty etc. who are all expected to help make sure the Code of Conduct is followed.

SciLifeLab Ethical Principles and Underlying Values

We at SciLifeLab always strive for excellence; excellence in how we offer services, excellence in conducting research, and excellence in how we treat each other and the planet. Our fundamental goal is to ensure that we have a collegial environment where everyone contributes to excellent science and a healthy environment so that everyone has an equal and fair opportunity to reach their full potential. From our point of view, scientific excellence cannot be fully achieved without adhering to aspects of research integrity and the other ethical principles list below. To achieve our mission, we select and define a set of principles that we expect the entire community to follow.

These principles are tightly intertwined and equally important in creating a healthy environment for excellence at SciLifeLab and therefore sorted in alphabetical order. They also encompass other important areas such as AI ethics, open science, and data privacy, which are more detailed than the meta-approach adopted here. Any specific issues that need to be addressed will be done in separate documents, which will then be referenced here in future versions of this document.

Ethical Principles and Underlying Values

As a research infrastructure, SciLifeLab expects all individuals in its community to be accountable for their actions and the wider impact of their actions. This includes, but is not limited to, activities related to infrastructure offerings, management, procedures, services, training, supervision, mentoring and research.

Individuals working in the SciLifeLab community are expected to be aware and follow relevant (inter)national and regional legislation as well as ethical guidelines and the rules of the institutions where they are affiliated. Those awarded grants should ensure that they follow funders’ rules as well.

SciLifeLab is dedicated to maximizing the value of research data for the benefit of society by creating and maintaining the most relevant, responsible, and advanced research infrastructure and by supporting researchers in their focus areas. This implies that SciLifeLab is not only committed to creating working environments where its community members can thrive and conduct excellent work, but it is also committed to building a bridge between SciLifeLab and society at large. This includes upholding all the principles listed below as well as those related to transparency, justice, FAIR data principles, respect for data privacy, responsible AI and open science.

SciLifeLab is committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. This means that the SciLifeLab community actively strives to create an inclusive and equitable workplace where diversity is encouraged and celebrated. There is currently a DEI committee at Campus Solna and we encourage and support the development of additional committees at other SciLifeLab sites.

SciLifeLab is committed to providing the tools and environment necessary to support and promote honesty, and where appropriate, transparency in developing, undertaking, reviewing, reporting, and communicating SciLifeLab activities in a fair, complete, and unbiased way. It is essential for individuals employed at Swedish public institutions, including most universities, to be aware that all work-related documents, including emails, have the potential to be requested by the public or authorities.

SciLifeLab stands by the ALLEA code of research integrity (2023) which is a guiding document for many universities in Sweden and Europe. This means that SciLifeLab is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of integrity in offering infrastructure services, in research activities and in the general work environment as described by the ALLEA. The guiding ethical principles described herein are important for all areas of work, including, but not restricted to infrastructure, data and other services, research, recruitment, promotion, teaching, training, collaboration, innovation and work environment. 

SciLifeLab expects all members of its community to be aware of this code of conduct and to act in accordance with it. SciLifeLab also expects community members to be aware of, and act in accordance with all relevant ethical policies and legal rules that fall out of the scope of this general Code of Conduct but that are nonetheless relevant to the specific work performed e.g. GDPRFAIR principlesOpen Scienceconflicts of interestfraud and misconduct, responsible AI,etc.Integrity related to infrastructure services, the infrastructure services at SciLifeLab are also expected to pay utmost attention to this Code of Conduct and fully comply with the SciLifeLab Infrastructure General Terms and Conditions for Funding.

As a scientific community, SciLifeLab is aware of the potential for unconscious bias to exist in different policies and practices such as for recruitment, promotion, and career advancement. SciLifeLab expects merit, respect and inclusivity, diversity and equity to be the basis of all activities extending from research design to recruitment practices.

SciLifeLab is committed to the reliability and quality in the conducted research, the services and resources provided, reflected in the design, methods, analysis, and offer of these activities. SciLifeLab also strives for all the individuals in its community to be reliable in following these basic ethical principles. 

SciLifeLab is committed to having working environments where each member of the SciLifeLab community shows respect for colleagues, stakeholders, society, ecosystems, cultural heritage, public resources, and the environment. Showing respect involves being conscious of different cultures, needs and preferences in an international community like SciLifeLab; treating everyone, regardless of aspects such as title or rank, area of expertise, (trans)gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, cultural heritage, age, religion, disability or age with courtesy, dignity and appreciation. SciLifeLab supports and promotes a work environment where different constructive roles, cultures, aims, and opinions are welcomed and discussed with active listening and respect. SciLifeLab will not tolerate acts of discrimination, aggression, harassment or bullying against any person or group.

Resources and environment: As a research infrastructure, SciLifeLab relies heavily on specialised equipment and spaces that must be continually alimented and cared for. The investment strategy is to always obtain the most current and energy-efficient equipment and procedures in order to be sustainable both environmentally and financially.

Community and individual wellbeing: SciLifeLab invest in the wellbeing of its community members and is in constant discussion in order to ensure that working conditions foster both a healthy and sustainable working environment as well as excellent work output.

Additional Resources

  1. The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (ALLEA)
  2. Singapore Statement on Research Integrity
  3. The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)
  4. The Hong Kong Principles in Assessing Researchers: Fostering research integrity
  5. SciLifeLab Infrastructure General Terms and Conditions for Funding
  6. The SciLifeLab Code of Conduct in PDF-format


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mojgan Seraji:

Last updated: 2024-04-08

Content Responsible: Mojgan Seraji(