Our Values and Approach for Supporting Science

Accelerating science is a team effort. Collaboration, risk taking, and staying close to the scientific community are necessary to advance progress across biomedicine. By funding and supporting science, we can help find treatments and cures for diseases, and by building innovative technology, we can catalyze scientific discovery across the entire scientific community. 

Our Values in Supporting Science

Our efforts in accelerating science are guided by the following values:

Supporting Talented and Motivated People

Talented and motivated people drive progress in science. Supporting scientific excellence and creativity is the most effective way to advance discoveries.

Building and Sharing Technology

New technologies pave the way for discoveries that are reliable, robust, scalable, and shareable. All scientists should have access to the best tools to do their work, and creating and disseminating high-quality tools will improve all of science. Learn about our work accelerating science with technology.

Fostering Collaboration in Science

Progress accelerates when people work together. We help bring new people and ideas to science, support early career researchers, and foster interdisciplinary collaborations between experts — from biomedical researchers, software developers, and computational biologists to patients and clinicians.

Open Sharing of Scientific Knowledge

The velocity of science and pace of discovery increase as scientists build on each others’ discoveries. We support a culture of open science that shares results, experimental methods, open source software and biological resources as early as possible to accelerate scientific progress. Learn about our work in open science.

Our Approach to Supporting Science

How can we cure, prevent, or manage all diseases by the end of the century? Our approach is to fund innovative scientific research and build state-of-the-art tools and technologies. Collaboration is the key to success, and technology is our differentiated impact. Our efforts to advance science are guided by the following principles:

We develop tools and technologies

We work closely with the scientific community to support the development of transformative technologies to advance science. Our computational biologists and software engineers collaborate with scientists to identify challenges and build open source tools for analyzing, visualizing, and sharing data. Explore our science technology.

We support interdisciplinary research collaborations

When biomedical researchers, clinicians, patients, computational biologists, software engineers, and others work together, they enable breakthroughs that grow from their combined expertise. We support open and networked models of research, as well as new incentives and career paths for collaborative research.

We build public trust in science

We are part of a movement to support basic scientific research and grassroots public engagement in science. By working in partnership with government, industry, academia, the philanthropic community, patients, and advocates, we will win the fight against disease.

We continue to learn

We don’t have all the answers. We actively seek the advice of and engage deeply with scientists, clinicians, national and international science funding organizations, software engineers, patients and their advocates, and experts of every kind in order to keep learning from the scientific community and improve our practices.

Our Policies and Guidelines

We use a variety of mechanisms in supporting science, including targeted grantmaking and open competitions for research funds with Requests for Applications, or RFAs. We prioritize supporting research communities. When we do so, we don’t just focus on individual researchers, but on groups of people. One way to enable collaboration among our partners is through the workshops and hackathons that we organize. The following policies govern our work:

Community Participation Guidelines

The mission of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is to find new ways to leverage technology, community-driven solutions, and collaboration to accelerate progress in Science, Education, and within our Justice & Opportunity work. Throughout our work, CZI is part of, supports, and directly works with many different communities. Within those communities, CZI is committed to creating and maintaining an environment where everyone is welcomed, respected, and supported. We want our employees, vendors, grantees and partners to have an opportunity to participate and contribute, and to be valued for their skills, experience, and unique perspectives.

The behaviors and practices in these guidelines also reflect our CZI values as well as our DEI principles — including a commitment to fostering truly inclusive work. As such, we hold ourselves accountable to these Community Participation Guidelines and expect all those who participate in CZI communities to do the same — whether participating in an internal meeting, convening, workshop, online discussion, or other forum.

Our Behavior

Be Direct and Kind – We speak directly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve. We are kind in these interactions and communications. We aim to be direct, constructive and positive. One way to achieve being direct and kind is to assume good intent and listen actively before responding. We listen with our head and heart, and assure the head-heart connection before we speak.

Make Space – We value each other’s ideas, styles and viewpoints. We seek diverse perspectives. Diversity of views powers innovation. We are aware of how much time is taken up by dominant members of the group. If we find ourselves dominating a discussion, we recognize the need to step back and encourage other voices to join in. “Winning” is when different perspectives make our work richer and stronger.

Be Inclusive – CZI employees and community members come from many races, ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds. We are respectful of people with different cultural practices, attitudes, political affiliations and beliefs. We work to eliminate our own biases and prejudices. We think of others’ needs from their point of view. We create an environment where we can bring our whole self to our work – our professional self as well as much of our personal self as we each desire.

Take Responsibility & Stay Curious – We assume best intentions and take responsibility for our impact. We are aware of how intense interactions may affect other people. We do our best to stay curious and ask questions, and are open to the fact that we may not have all the information. If we have harmed someone through our words or actions, we listen carefully, apologize sincerely, and correct the behavior going forward.

Bring Solutions & Lead by Example – Our words and actions matter. By matching our actions with our words, we become examples others want to follow. When frustrations arise, we see it as our responsibility to be part of creating solutions. We design our community and our work for positive behavior and hold others accountable.

Behavior That Will Not Be Tolerated

Personal Attacks – Conflicts will inevitably arise, but frustration should never turn into a personal attack. It is not okay to insult, demean or belittle others. Attacking someone for their opinions, beliefs and ideas is not acceptable. This includes sustained “talking over” or “heckling” of speakers.

Derogatory Language – Hurtful or harmful language, or using vulgar, discriminating, intimidating, threatening or harassing language is not acceptable. Using derogatory language based on someone’s race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other protected class will not be tolerated. If you’re unsure if a word is derogatory, don’t use it. See also CZI’s EEO, Harassment & Retaliation Policy.

Sexual Attention or Unwelcome Physical Contact – Sexual attention or unwelcome physical contact is not acceptable. This includes sexualized comments, jokes or imagery in interactions, communications or written materials, as well as inappropriate touching or sexual advances. See also CZI’s EEO, Harassment & Retaliation Policy.

Breach of Confidentiality Obligations – Trust is at the core of our ability to collaborate and to advance our work. Improper access, use, disclosure, or sharing of confidential information will not be tolerated. If unsure, the expectation is that you ask before disclosing or using!

Violence, Threats of Violence – Violence and threats of violence are not acceptable – online or offline. This includes incitement of violence toward any individual, including encouraging a person to commit self-harm.

Intoxication – Drinking alcohol in excess or misuse of prescription drugs (or use of illegal drugs) while working or participating in CZI communities, or pushing others to do so, or making derogatory comments about those who abstain from alcohol or other substances is not acceptable.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Obviously, we can’t outline every positive or unacceptable behavior or action. Please use good judgement and be professional, even in stressful situations. Inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated and violation can result in you being asked to leave an event or online space, either temporarily or for the duration of the event, or being banned from future events and activities. For non-CZI employees, inappropriate behavior may be reported to your organization. For CZI employees, violation may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Reporting

Your notification of any concerns is essential to us. We cannot help resolve a problem unless we know about it. Therefore, please bring any concerns to our attention as soon as possible so that we can take whatever steps are necessary to address the situation. For more information on how to report see CZI’s Speak Up Policy.

Links to Additional Resources and Policies

Equal Employment Opportunity, Harassment & Retaliation Policy

Speak Up Policy & Ethics Hotline

Download a copy here.

Guidelines inspired by https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/about/governance/policies/participation/CC BY-SA 3.0

Data Sharing, Maintenance, and Security

We support open science. That means sharing data so scientists can build on each other’s work to make new discoveries faster. We are committed to the long-term sustainability of our projects, and when needed, we ensure long-term data access through permanent archives. In all projects involving human subjects, we work with our external partners and with regulatory groups to support data privacy and security, and ensure that data requiring protection or controlled access are handled in accordance with national and international standards.

Ethics

We hold ourselves and our scientific partners to the highest ethical standards. We require compliance with institutional and national standards for human subjects research and non-human animal research. In addition, we have specific policies addressing scientific misconduct, attribution of credit, respectful treatment of all persons without discrimination, and responsible use of grant funding.

Intellectual Property

We do not request rights to IP developed by our partners. However, any IP generated by a CZI-supported investigator and/or as part of a CZI-funded research project must be made freely available for all academic and non-commercial uses, including for nonprofit scientific research organizations and pre-commercial use by for-profit entities.

Project Evaluation

We seek to support scientists, research projects, and programs that make a long-term impact on important biomedical problems. We will evaluate this work through our own analysis and through expert advice.

We will evaluate the quality, productivity, reach, and scholarly collaboration of the programs and individuals we support. We will apply these criteria when making overall commitments to new and existing research programs, when reviewing individual grant applications, and during ongoing reviews of supported research through mandatory progress reports, investigator meetings, and lab visits.

Scientific Output

We will evaluate scientists, research projects, and programs by the new knowledge that they produce, emphasizing the quality, robustness, and rigor of that work. Evidence of productivity includes:

  • Datasets
  • Protocols and methods
  • Software and code
  • Scientific reagents and resources used by other groups
  • Preprints
  • Published papers

Tools and Resource Dissemination 

We will measure the reach of science through its dissemination, data re-use, resource sharing and adoption of tools. Evidence of reach includes:

  • Deposition in open community repositories, including but not limited to:
    • Github for software code
    • Addgene for plasmids and other reagents
    • Protocols.io for methods
    • JAX for mice
    • bioRxiv and arXiv for preprints
  • Clinical and public health application
  • Commercial development
  • Citations of resources and papers
  • Links, forks, pulls, and maintenance of software code
  • Requests for reagents and resources, and their further use by the community

Collaboration

We will evaluate contributions to collaborative communities. Evidence includes:

  • Leadership and participation in collaborative research projects
  • Co-authored publications, protocols, and software code
  • Career success of trainees and staff scientists associated with the research
  • Acknowledgments for contributions to community resources and datasets
Publication

We support full publication without conditions or restrictions. To increase access to research findings and to communicate results more quickly, we require grantees to submit all manuscripts for any publications that were funded in whole or in part by a CZI Science grant as preprints to bioRxiv, or a similar service for sharing preprints, before or upon first submission to a journal.

Reagent Sharing

We expect that grantees will make reagents and resources available in a timely manner from the date of publication, and we encourage the use of existing community repositories where possible (e.g. Jackson Labs, Addgene, the Drosophila Stock Center at Bloomington, the Developmental Studies Hybridoma Bank). The requirement for sharing applies to clones, and to transgenic organisms and cell lines (including monoclonal antibodies).

Software

We release software developed by our own team and our funded partners under maximally permissive open-source licenses, and develop software collaboratively in the open through websites like GitHub.

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