About the Mistreatment Resource Panel

The Trainee Mistreatment Resource Panel is a student run organization founded in 2016, which is dedicated to extending the resources available for all research trainees (graduate students and postdocs) to report mistreatment and thus assist students and postdocs in reaching out for Institutional support.

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) is dedicated to providing its graduate students (PREP, Master’s and Ph.D.), postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and staff with an environment of respect, dignity and support. All members of the ISMMS community are responsible for protecting the rights of all research trainees in the Graduate School as specified in our Student, Postdoc and Faculty Codes of Conduct and Institutional policies. Mentors (defined broadly to include anyone in a mentoring role, but mainly Principal Investigators responsible for students’ and postdocs’ training) bear significant responsibility in creating and maintaining this atmosphere. As role models and top decision makers, mentors must practice appropriate professional behavior toward, and in the presence of, students and postdocs, who are in a particularly vulnerable position due to the training nature of their status.

Description of Mistreatment

Mistreatment interferes with the training environment, adversely impacts the research traineementor relationship, and has the potential for disrupting research. Inappropriate and unacceptable behaviors promote an atmosphere in which mistreatment is accepted and perpetuated in research training.

Any trainees who have concerns about work environment, authorship, resources, unfair treatment, discrimination or any issues regarding mistreatment are encouraged to reach out to the MRP directly at our email address –  MRP@mssm.edu.  In addition, trainees can reach out directly to any of the graduate or postdoc representatives.

While the perception of mistreatment may differ between individuals, examples of mistreatment include, but are not limited to:

  • Intentional neglect or marginalization (e.g., ignoring, speaking down to, yelling at, ridiculing)
  • Insults or inappropriately harsh language in speaking to or about a student or postdoc
  • Berating, belittling, humiliating or intimidating behavior
  • Threat of physical harm or physical punishment (e.g. hitting, slapping, kicking)
  • Asking to perform personal services (e.g., shopping, babysitting, picking up food) or demanding mandatory work/meetings on evenings, weekends or holidays without explicit agreement from the student or postdoc
  • Threat of receiving poor recommendation for reasons other than research performance or appropriate behavior by a student or postdoc
  • Threat of altering authorship on a publication for reasons other than proper contribution
  • Disregard for a student’s or postdoc’s safety by requiring a student or postdoc to perform a potentially hazardous procedure without adequate supervision or protection
  • Sexual harassment (including offensive remarks), being asked to exchange sexual favors for academic recognition, grades, salary amount or other awards, or being subjected to sexual advances
  • Discrimination or harassment based on race, color, national origin, gender, sexual preference, age, religion, disability, marital status, military status, genetic predisposition, being the victim of spousal abuse, or based on any other characteristic protected by law
  • Decreased salary (below NIH minimum) or threatening to decrease salary due to any of the above mistreatments
  • Threat of revoking visa status for foreign nationals

Such actions are contrary to the goodwill, trust, and compassion central to the learning culture and working environment in an academic medical center and the ISMMS. These actions cannot and will not be tolerated. The sources of mistreatment include, but are not limited to, research and clinical faculty, staff, other students or other postdocs.

For more information about institutional policies related to mistreatment, feel free to contact us or consult the Graduate Student (http://icahn.mssm.edu/education/students/handbook-policies) or Postdoc (http://icahn.mssm.edu/education/postdoc/policies) Handbooks.