BioCanRx Code of Conduct



The BioCanRx Code of Conduct (referred to hereafter as the “Code”) is one of the ways we hold ourselves accountable to the highest ethical standards as an organization. The Code describes specific behaviours that are expected from all BioCanRx network members. Every BioCanRx member should understand and uphold the Code and its values. The Code should be used as the ultimate reference point for anyone who witnesses behaviour that makes them uncomfortable or raises concerns.


At this point this Code is a living document. This means that this document will be continually updated as BioCanRx receives feedback from the network as we implement more initiatives stemming from the implementation of our EDI Action Plan. This Code will continue to be added to as BioCanRx implements more initiatives based on our operational planning and EDI Action Plan. BioCanRx network members will be made aware whenever the Code is updated.


Who is the Code for?


Every single person working on a BioCanRx funded project is expected to follow the Code of Conduct, including our senior leadership and Board of Directors. Every person, no matter their role or position, plays an integral part in building an inclusive culture where all feel welcome and empowered regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or any other facet of identity. As such, every individual is responsible for adopting and upholding the principles outlined in the Code. The Code applies to not only day-to-day behaviours at work, but it also applies to behaviours at BioCanRx conferences and workshops.


Our Principles


At BioCanRx we are governed by a core set of principles that contribute to a diverse & inclusive culture. We believe that every BioCanRx Network Member should feel welcome and empowered to do their best work regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, cognitive style, disability, age, or any other piece of their identity. We do not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or exclusionary behaviour in any form, and we are committed to continuously dismantling systemic racism, sexism, homophobia and other unconscious biases in the workplace.


  1. Diversity
    At BioCanRx, our goal is to build a network representative of the communities we serve. Commonly, diversity refers to the prevalence of visible minorities in the workplace but can also be expanded to include variety in backgrounds, experience, places of origin, sexual identities, gender, ages and more.
  2. Inclusion
    Ensuring that every individual feels heard and valued by their team is the ultimate goal. Diversity is about the variety of people at BioCanRx. Inclusion is about creating a sense of belonging for all people working on our projects. We are committed to both.
  3. Transparency
    Openness and communication are essential to our success. We want you to feel like you understand the decisions that are being made and the reasons behind them. We commit to being transparent with you and ask that you do the same in return.
  4. Accountability
    We take ownership of our mistakes. Situations will arise where we may fall short of our Code. When this happens, we will take accountability for what occurred and remedy the situation to the best of our ability. We will take concrete steps to ensure the same mistakes do not happen again.
  5. Excellence in Research
    BioCanRx’s vision is to cure patients and enhance the quality of life of those living with cancer. We do this by supporting world-class research and by accelerating to the clinic the most promising cancer immunotherapies designed to save lives and enable a better quality of life. Through an innovative, collaborative funding process BioCanRx is becoming a world-leader in the translation, manufacturing, and adoption of leading-edge cancer immunotherapy treatments for the benefit of cancer patients.


Unacceptable Conduct


Below is a list of behaviours that are unacceptable of any BioCanRx network member.


  1. Harassment –The Occupational Health and Safety Act defines workplace harassment as “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.” More simply put, harassment is any one-time or repeated unwanted physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct that violates a person’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, uncomfortable, or toxic environment. Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:
    1. Making threatening remarks
    2. Sexual assault
    3. Gender-based insults or jokes causing embarrassment or humiliation
    4. Repeated unwanted social or sexual invitations
    5. Inappropriate or unwelcome comments on a person’s physical attributes or appearance
  2. Bullying – Bullying is any physical, verbal, and non-verbal conduct that is malicious or insulting. Bullying can make a person feel vulnerable, excluded, humiliated, undermined, fearful, or threatened. Bullying can take the form of physical, verbal, and non-verbal conduct. Examples of bullying include, but are not limited to:
    1. Physical threats
    2. Psychological threats
    3. Overbearing or intimidating levels of supervision
    4. Shouting at colleagues in public or private
    5. Spreading malicious rumours
  3. Discriminatory Behavior – Discrimination refers to behaviour that treats people differently or adversely because of one or more of the facets of their identity, including race, color, ethnic origin, gender expression, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, or genetic characteristics. Examples of discrimination include, but are not limited to:
    1. Making insensitive jokes
    2. Factoring an individual’s identity into a hiring decision
    3. Purposefully excluding a colleague on the basis of their gender
    4. Using a racial slur
  4. Micro-aggressions – Micro-aggressions refers to obvious or subtle, direct or indirect behaviours and comments which reference an individual’s personal identity, such as their race, gender, ethnic origin, religion, or age. Over time, micro-aggressions can have lasting emotional and mental effects on the individual or individuals targeted and can contribute to a toxic and non-inclusive workplace. Examples of micro-aggressions in the workplace can include, but are not limited to:
    1. Calling a woman “bossy”
    2. Repeatedly calling a racialized employee by the name of a different person of the same race
    3. Asking a racialized employee where they are “really” from
    4. Commenting on a person’s physical appearance in reference to racial characteristics such as skin tone
    5. Scheduling meetings or important deadlines on religious or cultural holidays


Actions & Responsibilities


All BioCanRx Network Members are expected to act in accordance with the Principles outlined in the Code. Every individual has both the right to feel included within the BioCanRx network as well as the responsibility to include others.


  1. Harassment & Discrimination
    BioCanRx will not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any individual or group of individuals by team-members, managers, or leaders.
  2. Allyship
    BioCanRx encourages all network members to learn from and listen to colleagues from under-represented backgrounds. You are expected to be an ally to your peers by using your voice to speak up for (without speaking over) marginalized groups, breakdown barriers and promote equity. This action will include mandatory training in allyship and EDI principles.


All BioCanRx Network Members are expected to:

  • Read and understand the Code of Conduct.
  • Promote a workplace culture where everyone feels valued and safe.
  • Actively engage in allyship and EDI training.
  • Speak up about incidences or harassment, discrimination, bullying, etc if it is safe for you to do so.


BioCanRx Events & Workshops


BioCanRx expects all participants of BioCanRx events and workshops to follow the principles outlined above. Participants asked to stop any harassing or discriminatory behaviour are expected to comply immediately. BioCanRx may take action to address any action that disrupts the event or makes the environment hostile for any participants.


If a participant or group of participants engages in harassing or discriminatory behaviour, BioCanRx retains the right to take any actions to keep the event a welcoming environment. This includes warning the offender, excluding them from the conference with no refund and refusing their participation at future BioCanRx events depending on the severity of the violation.


If you experience or witness any unacceptable behaviour at a BioCanRx event or workshop please alert BioCanRx immediately by either informing a BioCanRx staff member in person or by emailing our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Specialist Sarah Ivanco at with the details of the incident.


What to do if you see a Violation?


If you have a question about the Code or you witnessed something concerning that you think violates the Code – speak up! We are relying on you to help us uphold our values and principles, which sometimes means calling attention to questionable or outright unethical behaviour. We cannot expect that challenges will not arise, but we can commit to approaching every situation ready to listen, take ownership and adopt meaningful solutions.


If you have any questions or concerns, you can email Sarah Ivanco, the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Specialist at BioCanRx, at


Alternatively, BioCanRx has partnered with HearU. HearU is a reporting tool for any unfair treatment occurring at BioCanRx. Learn more here.


If you experience or witness any harassment or discrimination, we encourage you to use the processes and procedures at your respective institution.


No Retaliation


BioCanRx does not support any retaliation against anyone who comes forward with a concern. Retaliation refers to a negative reaction suffered by an individual after they drew attention to inappropriate or unethical behaviour. Retaliation includes but is not limited to termination, demotion, reduction of work hours, reassignment, third-party reprisals (e.g., terminating someone with a close relationship to an employee) and more.