Code of Conduct
Fatima Fellowship aims to provide a positive and supportive platform to democratize participation in machine learning research. This Code of Conduct is meant to help ensure that the program experience is meaningful and productive for all members of the community. Organizers, mentors and fellows are expected to honor this Code of Conduct.
The Code of Conduct is not meant to dictate behaviors, but it establishes minimum expectations and provides a disciplinary framework to hold members of the community to high standards.
Fatima Fellowship is an approximately nine-month program, beginning in May and ending in January of the consecutive year.
The program is conducted online in its entirety.
In addition to the e-mail you provide, the organizers of Fatima and Fellowship would invite accepted mentors and fellows into a Slack channel through which timely updates are provided.
Categories of this Code
The core of the Code of Conduct consist of three sections:
Expectations to be fulfilled by each community member, according to their role
Proactive values to which we elude and provide guidance despite them resisting explicit definition
Appropriate behavior which lack thereof necessitates corrective action
All members of the community are expected to adhere to the same high professional standards. Punctuality, accountability, and open communication are crucial. We also suggest that you:
Monitor and review your work regularly
Stay updated on recent research and trends in the field of your project
Encourage the free exchange of ideas and support amongst members of the community
Maintain appearance, speech, and behavior above reproach during engagement with other community members
You are expected to understand and maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Breaches of integrity include, but are not limited to, inappropriate collaboration, intellectual property including copyright infringement, or acts of bad faith.
We are fortunate to have organizers, mentors and fellows from different backgrounds. You are expected to operate on grounds of mutual respect, including but not limited to:
Refraining from harassing or discriminating against other members
Treating all members of the community fairly
Being respectful in communication
Being mindful of possible cultural differences, as we all come from different regions and backgrounds, and possible miscommunication, as we don’t all share a native tongue
Where the intended person may have room for improvement, sharing constructive criticism in private channels when possible
Being open and conscientious in considering feedback
Engaging others in your decisions when their outcomes would affect them
Being fair and impartial in your engagement with others
Giving others the reason of doubt
In particular, we do not tolerate discriminatory, harassing, or insulting remarks even when intended as a form of critique.
You are expected to actively participate in the program by:
Fulfilling the responsibilities applicable to your role in a timely fashion
Respecting the milestones of the program and the deadlines set by consent with your assigned mentor/fellow
Maintaining an online presence in the Slack channel created for the program
Engaging and collaborating with other members
Asking for help and guidance from other fellows, mentors and organizers as appropriate to support your responsibilities in the program
You are encouraged to use your legal name in Slack, Zoom and all forms of communication with Fatima Fellowship. You should not attempt to impersonate others or create a false identity with the purpose of misleading others.
New channels may be created only in the absence of existing ones for a set topic
Only organizers may create private channels
Channels should be named in a clear and concise manner
Channels should be used for their intended purpose in alignment with their name
You should NOT call attention to all community members in a public channel using the @channel or @here function without explicit consent from an organizer
Chat content of private channels should not be screenshotted or otherwise recorded, except for reporting a violation of this Code of Conduct
Chat content of public channels should not be screenshotted or otherwise recorded for sharing beyond the Fatima Fellowship program
You should not use the Slack channels for excessive solicitation, business marketing or personal gain
You should avoid disrupting the community, providing feedback other than as directed, spamming others
You should not “shop for answers” (for example DM’ing multiple organizers searching for an answer different than what you were initially given)
We reserve the right to delete Slack channels and content (posts, threads, questions, comments, and responses) that are not aligned with our mission, values, or Code of Conduct.
You are encouraged to have your camera on and directed at you face while in meetings, especially when you are communicating with others.
You have an irrevocable right to refuse turning your camera and/or microphone at any point during the meetings.
In case you choose to have your camera off, you are required to have your legal name in use.
With your camera on, you are expected to maintain professional demeanor, including but not limited to behaving respectfully, and remaining fully clothed.
Roles / Eligibility Criteria
As a member of the community participating in Fatima Fellowship, you are assigned one of the three roles below, with the eligibility criteria as follows:
During your time as a organizer, you should be:
At least 18 years old
Not participating as a fellow concurrently
During your time as a mentor, you should be:
Enrolled in or completed your PhD from an accredited institution
At least 18 years old
Not participating as a fellow concurrently
During your time as a fellow, you should be:
An undergraduate in your final or penultimate year of study at an accredited institution, or a Master's student, or have completed undergraduate or Master's. You should not have started your PhD already.
At least 18 years old upon application to the program
Not participating as an organizer or mentor concurrently
Organizers fulfill the administrative work to keep Fatima Fellowship running smoothly, including but not limited to:
Creation, modification, or cancellation of any part of the program or derivatives thereof
Announcing the start and end of the application cycle to the program
Promoting the program internationally
Encouraging students to apply
Clarifying the components of the program and the expectations to both mentors and fellows
Inviting mentors, and onboarding them after their successful application
Evaluating project proposals submitted by mentors
Assessing mentors and fellows applying to partake in the program
Informing applicant fellows of the status of their application at the end of the application cycle
Creating new public Slack channels and archiving existing ones for each program cycle
Creating private Slack channels for each project
Following up with mentors on the progress of the project
Ensuring the fellows are in good standing based on their progress along the timeline of the projects, and their attendance of the associated programming
Being available to answer the concerns of fellows regarding their project and experience in the program, as well as any violations of the Code of Conduct
Taking an appropriate course of action in case of Code of Conduct violations
Mentors are crucial to success of Fatima Fellowship, as fulfill the role of:
Bringing their expertise to the program
Proposing the research topics for their projects
Setting a project proposal including a timeline and a list of deliverables
Selecting fellows from the pool of accepted candidates during the matching phase
Meeting with fellows at least twice a week to oversee their progress in the projects and guiding them on their next steps, as well as guiding them to any resources that would support their learning/research journey
Providing fellows with general advice on graduate studies, academic research and more generally the field of machine learning
Avoiding setting unrealistic expectations of the project and achievements of the fellows
Avoiding promising fellows with any returns in exchange of their participation in the project under their mentorship, except after their successful completion of the program
Avoiding burdening the fellows with any costs associated with their research activity
As part of the program, the fellows are expected to:
Complete the application to Fatima Fellowship successfully
Partake in the matching phase up to their assignment to a research project
Develop with their mentors a reasonable project timeline and deliverable in accordance with the proposed research topic
Work diligently for the duration of the Fellowship towards a mutually-agreed upon deliverable (e.g. code, paper, etc) with their mentors
Fatima Fellowship expects all fellows to uphold the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in the conduct of their fellowship project from the date of acceptance, through to their research phase and thereafter. Therefore, by participating in Fatima Fellowship, you agree to:
Strive for excellence, aiming to design, produce and share work of the highest quality
Always be aware of your overriding responsibility to public benefit and the public good
Observe and comply with all legal, regulatory and professional ethical requirements in the US or in countries where the Fellowship is conducted
Be straightforward and honest in all their professional relationships
Contribute to and promote the open exchange of ideas, research methods, data and results and their discussion, scrutiny and debate, subject to any considerations of confidentiality
Be unbiased, independent and professional in the conduct of your project, and in the reporting of your findings
At all times protect Fatima Fellowship’s reputation and integrity, and observe its values
Engage in a continuous process of professional development, and give back to the community by participating in the program again as a mentor when qualified
Appropriate Use of Resources
Members should not take, attempt to take, keep in their possession, sell, or attempt to sell, damage or destroy property (intellectual or physical), information, services, or accounts belonging to Fatima Fellowship or other individual(s).
Members should not seize, misuse, improperly share, or pirate Fatima Fellowship or others’ property, or violate their privacy rights.
Members should only use the computing resources made available by our sponsoring partners in accordance with the requirements of their assigned projects under Fatima Fellowship, and not other projects or work.
We acknowledge that our work as researchers often depends on the contributions of others. You should always claim only work that is your own, properly attribute collaborations, and avoid taking credit for what you have not done.
We encourage an open-source work ethic, and we solve problems collaboratively. The difference between properly attributed work and plagiarized submissions is found in citing source material and permission of the original author.
Proper attribution includes a description of what code was used or what help was given. A link back to the original source material or ideas should be included whenever possible. This belongs in a section titled "Attributions" of the README file for the relevant code.
Please note: an online code repository that has no license is presumed to be closed source and should not be used as a reference. Please include a license file in your own publicly published code.
Any publicized work resulting directly, even if partially, from the participation in the Fatima Fellowship program, including but not limited to: presentations, conference presentations, coursework material, preprint papers, conference papers, journal papers, per-reviewed papers, book chapters, etc, must include an “Acknowledgements” section stating: “This works has been done as part of the Fatima Fellowship [Year] program”.
Intellectual Property & Copyright
We expect all community members to respect the intellectual rights of other community members, as well as any external parties.
Intellectual property violations including copyright violations, using, and/or linking materials that you do not have the right to, will be evaluated by an organizer. Based on the findings, the Fellow may face disciplinary action, up to and including being withdrawn from Fatima Fellowship.
Additionally, Fatima Fellowship may request that you remove any content or material (either within Slack or externally) that is found to violate any Code of Conduct policy, contractual term, law, and/or any intellectual property right.
Plagiarism is the re-use of someone else's work (e.g. any code, writing, assignment solution, etc), without the permission or license of the author. Claiming someone else's work as your own is disrespectful to the author and to your learning process. "Cargo culting," or utilizing the techniques of another without applying your own thinking, is also considered plagiarism. Violating the terms of a license in a professional setting can result in lawsuits and endanger businesses. Doing so in the classroom can result in loss of assignment points, bad references from instructors.
Fatima Fellowship is committed to safety and encourages community members to take precautions at all times, including but not limited to while using Zoom. Community members should use Zoom/attend sessions while in a space that they are able to concentrate and not endanger themselves or others.
We encourage you to use your best judgement and not participate in dangerous and/or physical activities while on Zoom, including but not limited to driving.
Privacy of Information
It is expected that all members of the community respect that privacy of organizers, mentors and fellows.
We do not provide personal information to non-service provider third parties except with your consent, or as required by subpoena, warrant, or as otherwise directed or permitted by law.
We may share non-personally identifiable information publicly, for the purpose of promoting the program.
We use aggregated non-personally identifiable information in order to analyze the effectiveness of the program and adjust it accordingly.
Fatima Fellowship and its trusted service providers processes your personal information provided during registration and in subsequent communications as necessary to administer the program.
Your personal information, including your name, contact information, resume and other application material may be shared with mentors as necessary to administer the program.
We may publicize your participation in the program, including your application material, organizational affiliation and logo, and the results of your work, with your consent.
Please refrain from:
Making an audio, photographic, screenshot, or video record of a person(s) without prior knowledge or permission in each instance
Storing, sharing, or distributing such records by any means, including records of personal conversations (e.g. Slack channel chats), images, meetings, or activities
Creating, storing, sharing, or distributing any media depicting the likeness of any person(s) without their prior knowledge and permission, including but not limited to emojis, gifs, and memes
Contacting other community members outside the official communication channels of the program (e.g. phone, e-mail, social media accounts) except at their initial request, or after the initiation of such a communication channel
Harvesting or otherwise collecting information about others, including but not limited to phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and social media handles for purposes unrelated to the program, or without their explicit permission
Fellows shall not disclose confidential information acquired in the course of the program, except with prior permission in writing from the individual, or relevant authority.
Creating a form of record for the purposes of reporting a code of conduct violation is permissible solely for the mentioned purpose, and only when shared with an organizer assigned by Fatima Fellowship to handle such violations.
Handling of Datasets
Datasets created for the purpose of being used within a machine learning project under Fatima Fellowship must be appropriately anonymized to hide any personal identifying information. Datasets should only be accessed in relation to carrying out the research activities associated with the program.
When collecting data for research purposes, you should:
Ensure that participation in their activities, interviews and overall project is based on participants’ voluntary informed consent.
Be transparent, open and honest with anyone they meet as to the subject and purpose of data collection and research
For an example of an anonymization service for images and videos, please visit: https://github.com/BMW-InnovationLab/BMW-Anonymization-API
We strive for a collaborative and respectful environment free from discrimination, harassment and abusive, exploitive, oppressive, intimidating or demeaning conduct. Fatima Fellowship prohibits the discrimination against, and harassment of community members, including organizers, mentors and fellows.
Examples of categories of prohibited behaviors include:
Sexual harassment of any kind
Disruptive, disrespectful, threatening, and/or violent behaviors
Creation of an unpleasant or hostile situation with verbal or physical conduct
Fatima Fellowship is committed to fostering a diverse community of researchers. In our efforts to create a positive and supportive research community, we welcome, without any discrimination, people of all backgrounds, including but not limited to: members of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, color, immigration status, social and economic class, educational level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability.
We recognize that certain forms of discrimination are culturally ingrained that they may be invisible to the perpetuator whose conduct or message is well-intended. It is impossible to predefine all such situations; thus, we ask you to practice awareness, empathy and self-critique in your interactions.
It is a violation of this Code of Conduct to engage in any form of harassment, or retaliate against any community member for reporting it.
Harassment includes any action, language or visual representation, that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, persistent or patently offensive that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with that person’s work or academic performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, educational, or living environment.
Harassment includes any verbal, physical, or online conduct and includes, but is not limited to: slurs, epithets, or other threatening, intimidating, hostile, or abusive treatment.
Psychological or Physical Harm, Threat or Actual
Harassment is understood to include any action or expression that implies interference with personal safety, education, employment, or participation in On Fatima Fellowship's activities, resources, or that causes a community member to have reasonable fear that such behavior is about to occur.
Community members are expected to be proactive in preventing sexual harassment and taking necessary measures to prevent their conduct from being understood as such. Sexual harassment of any kind is prohibited, including but not limited to unwelcome attention, comments and physical contact (where applicable)
Your interaction with community members, including your choice of language, should reflect a high level of professional integrity. You should:
Avoid the use of slang, innuendo, profanity, explicit and suggestive language
Do not insult, minimize, marginalize, or put down other participants, cultures
Do not share exclusionary, discriminatory or offensive remarks, comments, or messages, including through non-verbal means of communication (e.g. memes) even if intended as a “joke” or not directed to a specific person
Weigh your words, and justify the purpose they serve before speaking them
Violations of Code of Conduct
Reporting a Violation
If you are ever uncomfortable about an interaction, please let us know by reporting it.
Fellows who believe they have been discriminated against or subjected to harassment have the option to:
Contact a Fatima Fellowship organizer directly
Make a report by using the /report command in Slack
Report the violation at [e-mail address]
In your report please include:
Your contact information.
Names (real, nicknames, or pseudonyms) of any individuals involved. If there are additional witnesses, please include them as well.
Your account of what occurred and if you believe the incident is ongoing. If there is a publicly available record (e.g. Slack channel, a mailing list archive or a public IRC logger), please include a link, reference, or screenshot.
Any additional information that may be helpful.
Complaints can be handled confidentially at the option of the submitter.
Investigation, Recourse & Remedy
After filing a report, a representative may contact you personally, review the incident, and follow up with any additional questions.
If the person who is harassing you is part of the organizing team, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. If the complaint originates from a member of the organizing team, a different member of the response team will handle it. We respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims.
We do not actively seek out violations of the Code of Conduct. If someone brings concerning behavior to our attention, the organizing team will work to determine if the behavior may be a violation of the Code of Conduct. If it is determined that there is an alleged violation, we will notify the member accused, meet with them, gather information about the incident(s), and work to prevent reoccurrence.
When deciding the appropriate action to take, we consider the severity of the incident, additional information (such as past behavioral history), and any additional context we may have. Actions taken to prevent future occurrence may be educational in nature (such as a success plan) or may include actions up to withdrawal.
If a community member is found to be responsible for a violation of the Code of Conduct, or other published policies, the member will be notified of the decision, along with any resulting outcomes up to, but not limited to repeating a portion of the program, or being removed from the program.
Fatima Fellowship reserves the right to immediately remove a community member from the program without notice or opportunity for a hearing for behavior deemed to be disruptive and/or not in line with Fatima Fellowship’s mission, values and goals.
The following criteria will be used to determine if an incident that happens outside of the Fatima Fellowship program will be considered an alleged violation of the Code of Conduct:
When the incident was recognized by others as being carried out by a Fatima Fellowship community member
When the incident adversely impacted the mental, emotional, or physical health, safety, and/or security of Fatima Fellowship community members
When the incident adversely impacted the mission and/or values of Fatima Fellowship
and/or whether the incident is a violation of federal or state laws or regulations, or local ordinances.
However, if brought to our attention, the program reserves the right to further investigation and possible removal of a Fellow for offenses such as bullying, harassment, etc. taking place beyond the fellowship.
Violations of this Code of Conduct may result in community members being barred from participation in the program.
You may be subjected to disciplinary action as well for having knowledge of but failing to appropriately report a violation of this Code of Conduct.
Certain conduct may violate the Code of Conduct as well as the law. Fatima Fellowship reserves the right to investigate and to initiate the resolution process regardless of the prospect of or pending civil or criminal proceedings. Fatima Fellowship's resolution process differs from legal proceedings in that the goal is to promote learning, growth, and to preserve the learning environment. Fatima Fellowship may move forward to resolution prior to, simultaneously with, or following criminal or civil proceedings. Resolution of an alleged violation will not change on the grounds that a civil or criminal case has been resolved via dismissal, settlement, or reduction.
The right of confidentiality for any party involved in a harassment incident, including the complainant and the charged, will be respected insofar as it does not interfere with the obligation to investigate allegations of misconduct and to take corrective action where appropriate.
Important note: we encourage critical thought, discourse, and feedback from our Fellows. None of the above is to discourage criticism of the program itself, the policies, actions of the Fatima Fellowship team, or any other component of the experience. We value feedback and welcome it anytime, but we ask this be provided via direct communication organizer through private Slack messages, email, or the completion of general purpose feedback forms. We hold our community to high standards and expect organizers, mentors, and fellows to engage with each other in a professional manner. In the spirit of praise publicly, critique privately, we ask that you not criticize any member of the Fatima Fellowship community publicly and contribute to creating a respectful and welcoming environment for all.
Changes to the Code of Conduct
Fatima Fellowship may change its code of conduct from time to time. Your continued participation after a change of Code of Conduct constitutes your acceptance of such change.
In addition, we may from time to time publish announcements to Fellows - for example in the #announcements channel in Slack.
If you feel that this document needs modification to its wording, feel free to reach out to any Fatima Fellowship organizer through Slack or the e-mail address provided on the program website.
Representation and Warranties
You represent and warrant that:
You are eligible, as described above, to participate in Fatima Fellowship
The information you provided during registration and subsequent communication with Fatima Fellowship is truthful
You understand that this is not a paid offer or a contract of employment
You acknowledge that your participation is voluntary
You, where appropriate, own all the rights to your submissions
Your contributions, where appropriate:
are not malicious, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene
do not violate any applicable laws
do not violate any rights of any other person or entity or any obligation you may have with them
Fatima Fellowship and its organizers are indemnified against all liabilities, damages, losses, costs, fees (including legal fees), and expenses relating to any allegation or third-party legal proceeding to the extent arising from the community members’ acts or omissions (including those of its organizers) in relation to the program.
Participation in Fatima Fellowship as an organizer, mentor, or fellow does not constitute any agency, partnership or joint venture between you and Fatima Fellowship and/or any other community member, or their home institution.
In the event of any discrepancy between the English version of this Code of Conduct, or any other Fatima Fellowship material, and a translated version, the English version shall prevail.
PARTICIPANTS’ USE OF THE FATIMA FELLOWSHIP WEBSITE AND PARTICIPATION IN THE PROGRAM IS AT EACH PARTICIPANT’S SOLE RISK. THE PROGRAM WEBSITE IS PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS. FATIMA FELLOWSHIP DISCLAIMS ALL REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES (EXPRESS OR IMPLIED), INCLUDING ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. FATIMA FELLOWSHIP IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INCOMPLETE, FAILED, OR DELAYED TRANSMISSION OF INFORMATION DUE TO THE INTERNET, INCLUDING INTERRUPTION OR DELAYS CAUSED BY EQUIPMENT OR SOFTWARE MALFUNCTION OR OTHER TECHNICAL PROBLEMS.
We’d like to thank the communities and projects that established codes of conduct and diversity statements as our inspiration
Non-Exhaustive List of Examples of Inappropriate Behavior:
Offensive comments (or "jokes") related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro-typicality, physical appearance, body size, race, age, regional discrimination, political or religious affiliation
Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment
Deliberate misgendering. This includes deadnaming or persistently using a pronoun that does not correctly reflect a person’s gender identity. You must address people by the name they give you when not addressing them by their username or handle.
Physical contact and simulated physical contact (e.g., textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub”) without consent or after a request to stop
Threats of violence, both physical and psychological
Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to engage in self-harm
Stalking or following
Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes
Sustained disruption of discussion
Unwelcome sexual attention, including gratuitous or off-topic sexual language, images, or behavior
Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others, or excessive teasing after a request to stop
Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease
Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent, except as necessary to protect others from intentional abuse
Publication of non-harassing private communication
Sabotage of someone else's work or intentionally hindering someone else's performance