Propagating Research Ethics around Sexual Marginalization and Transgender Issues Conference



All research that involves undergraduates necessarily includes people with minoritized identities of gender and/or sexuality (including but not limited to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and nonbinary [LGBTQIA+]). However, researchers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), STEM education, and higher education fields typically have little to no training related to ethical and responsible research involving LGBTQIA+ participants. There are myriad ethical considerations in such research, from research design and confidentiality to participant recruitment, instrumentation, data collection, data storage, data analysis, and dissemination of findings.

Through the NSF’s Ethical and Responsible Research program, PRISMATIC will bring together researchers with expertise in these areas to develop materials and methods to address the awareness gap and promote ethical and responsible education standards that protect LGBTQIA+ participants. Workshops and conferences are an ideal way to engage STEM education researchers and STEM faculty in grappling with ethical and responsible research considerations when involving LGBTQIA+ undergraduates.

Goals and Objectives

PRISMATIC will bring together subject-matter experts to discuss salient ethical considerations, create resources for STEM education researchers, and draft a national agenda for ethical and responsible research involving undergraduates who hold minoritized gender and sexual identities in STEM higher education contexts. Specific PRISMATIC objectives include:

  • Objective 1: Identify best practices and considerations for conceptualizing, designing, conducting, and disseminating higher education research involving LGBTQIA+ participants.
  • Objective 2: Identify the major ethical issues related to research in higher education with LGBTQIA+ participants, and use these issues to create a prioritized research agenda in this domain.
  • Objective 3: Disseminate the results of objectives 1 and 2 widely, targeting STEM, STEM education, and higher education researchers as the primary audiences.

We invite all interested people to participate in idea generation and propagation by registering for any of our workshops. Contact us at with any questions.

Code of Conduct

PRISMATIC is committed to providing a safe and productive meeting environment that fosters open dialogue and the exchange of scientific ideas, promotes equal opportunities and treatment for all participants, and is free of harassment and discrimination. All participants are expected to treat others with respect and consideration and alert staff of any dangerous situations or anyone in distress.

Speakers are expected to uphold standards of scientific integrity and professional ethics. This includes notifying PRISMATIC organizers in advance of the meeting about any possible conflicts of interest. PRISMATIC recognizes that there are areas of science that are controversial.

PRISMATIC can serve as an effective forum to consider and debate science-relevant viewpoints in an orderly, respectful, and fair manner. The policies herein apply to all attendees, speakers, exhibitors, staff, contractors, volunteers, and guests at all events.

The following represent types of behaviors that will not be tolerated during PRISMATIC and related events:

  • intentionally talking over or interrupting others
  • engaging in biased, demeaning, intimidating, coercive, harassing, or hostile conduct or commentary, whether seriously or in jest, based on sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, marital status, veteran status, age, physical appearance, disability, power differential, or other identities
  • engaging in personal attacks of any kind
  • commenting on personal appearance
  • retaliation against reporting of conduct concerns or assisting in conflict resolutions
  • disruption of meetings (e.g., “Zoom-bombing”) or engaging in harm or threats of harm of any kind
  • producing or distributing audio or visual recordings in any medium
  • producing or distributing photographs of presentations or materials
  • engaging in any of the above behaviors on social media in relation to PRISMATIC or related events.

PRISMATIC expects all participants to abide by these guidelines in all fora of the meeting. PRISMATIC reserves the right to remove an individual from the meeting without warning or refund, prohibit attendance at future PRISMATIC meetings and notify the individual’s employer.


If an individual experiences or witnesses harassment or misconduct and wishes to file a formal report, they should contact PRISMATIC staff at All complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially and responded to promptly.

If an individual experiences or witnesses harassment or misconduct, it is recommended that, in addition to notifying PRISMATIC staff, they write down the details. They are not expected to discuss the incident with the offending party. Their confidentiality will be maintained to the extent that it does not compromise the rights of others.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has made clear its commitment to foster safe research and learning environments. NSF continues this commitment with the publication on September 21st of the final version of a new term and condition entitled "Notification Requirements Regarding Findings of Sexual Harassment, Other Forms of Harassment, or Sexual Assault" in the Federal Register. When incorporated into an NSF award, awardee organizations will be required to notify NSF of any findings/determinations of sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault regarding an NSF funded Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI, or of the placement of the PI or co-PI on administrative leave, or the imposition of any administrative action relating to harassment or sexual assault finding or investigation.

PRISMATIC is supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation (DUE-2220269). All PRISMATIC activities and findings are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agency.