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Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct for Faculty of Natural Sciences

Our Commitment

To foster an open and inclusive environment, we as employees, students and guests at the Faculty of Natural Sciences (NAT), Aarhus University (AU), commit to do our utmost to make working and studying at NAT a welcoming and accessible experience for everyone, regardless of age, ability, education, level of experience, physical stature, appearance, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation,
gender identity/expression, sex characteristics, or socio-economic status.

We value honesty and ethical behaviour and promote a supportive and appreciative workplace that values diversity and inclusion. All interactions should be conducted with kindness, consideration and respect, and the workplace should be a gathering point for curious exploration and constructive exchange of ideas.

Our Standards

As our shared workplace, NAT should be free from any form of harassment, i.e. abusive, intimidating, humiliating, or demeaning behaviour is not acceptable under any circumstances.

Examples of unacceptable behaviour include (but are not limited to):

  • The use of sexualised language or imagery and unwelcome sexual attention or advances
  • Trolling, insulting/derogatory comments, and personal or political attacks
  • Public or private harassment in person or through other means of communication
  • Publishing others’ private information, such as a physical or electronic address without explicit permission
  • Denying or devaluating the experiences of others regardless of personal convictions
  • Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a professional setting

See also AU’s information and guidance for dealing with offensive behaviour.

Examples of behaviours that contribute to creating a positive environment include
(but are not limited to):

  • Using welcoming and inclusive language and demeanour (be kind)
  • Accommodating the needs of people with disabilities
  • Showing respect for and interest in different perspectives, points of view, suggestions and experiences (be curious)
  • Giving and receiving constructive criticism with a positive attitude (be constructive)
  • Focusing on the community (NAT/department) rather than prioritising the pursuit of individual interests
  • Showing empathy and respect towards others

Denmark, and along with this, AU, is a place where we respect freedom of speech and value humour both in the public sphere and in social relations. This Code of Conduct is not meant to abandon such inherent values in Danish culture, but to state that at NAT, freedom of speech and humour should be used responsibly and not as means to harass individuals or groups.


The Faculty Management and thus Department managements are responsible for clarifying the standards of acceptable behaviour and will take appropriate and fair corrective actions in response to instances of unacceptable behaviour.


This Code of Conduct applies to everyone at NAT. This includes faculty, staff, and students (full and part time) as well as guests. It applies both within the Faculty and when an individual or a group is officially representing the Faculty in other locations including public spaces.

Examples of representing the Faculty include using an official AU email address, posting via an official social media account, or acting as an appointed AU representative. Representation of the Faculty may be further defined and clarified by departmental management.

Reporting Violations

Instances of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behaviour must be reported by contacting your head of department, head of secretariat, immediate manager, trade union representative or working environment representative. It is also possible to use AU’s whistleblower scheme: https://medarbejdere.au.dk/en/strategy/the-whistleblower-scheme

The Dean’s Office at NAT can also be contacted:

  • Birgit Schiøtt, Dean (dean.nat@au.dk)
  • Kristine Kilså, Vice Dean of Education (kkj@au.dk)
  • Ole Bækgaard Nielsen, Vice Dean of Career Development and Innovation and Head of the Graduate School of Natural Sciences (obn@au.dk)
  • Poul Nissen, Vice Dean of Research (pn@au.dk)
  • Aske Dahl Sløk, Head of Secretariat (ads@au.dk)

PhD students also have the option to contact their PhD partner at the Graduate School of Natural Sciences (GSNS) or the relevant Head of PhD programme.

BSc- and MSc-level students including visiting students may contact student counsellors at Nat-Tech.

Regardless of whom a report is submitted to, the report as well as the identity of the author will be handled with confidentiality and any actions taken thereafter will be conducted in close dialogue with the person reporting the incident.


All reports will be reviewed and investigated and will result in a response that is deemed necessary and appropriate to the circumstances. The person, to whom the report is submitted, is obligated to maintain confidentiality with regard to the person reporting the incident.

Depending on the severity of the situation, there are systems in place at the Faculty, University and societal level to take a response further. The decision to escalate a situation further in these systems will be based on a close collaboration between the contact person and the author of the report and will depend on the severity of the situation.