SITC Meeting Code of Conduct
Approved by the SITC Executive Committee June 2018, Updated April 2021
The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is committed to providing a safe, secure, collegial and welcoming environment for all participants and attendees at its in-person and virtual meetings and events, and to provide for equal opportunity and treatment of all participants and attendees, regardless of actual or perceived gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic status, age or religion. All participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, staff (including venue staff), exhibitors, contractors, vendors and other service providers, and anyone else present at SITC in-person or virtual meetings or events, are expected to abide by this policy. This policy applies to all SITC meeting-related events, including those sponsored by organizations other than SITC but held in conjunction with SITC events, in public or private facilities or on online platforms.
Photography, Social Media and Recording Policy
Photography, Screenshots and Recording
Program attendees at SITC in-person or virtual programs may use photographs, screenshots and audio/video recordings taken during oral or poster presentations provided that the photographs and recordings are strictly for personal, noncommercial use and are not to be published in any form, EXCEPT when the speakers or poster presenters explicitly state otherwise at the start of their presentations or by indicating so on their slides and posters through one of two mechanisms:
- A camera icon with a black circle and slash on slides or posters indicate that picture taking, audio recording and video recording are not allowed:
- The words “DO NOT POST” written on slides or posters indicates that picture taking, audio recording and video recording are not allowed.
Virtual program attendees should not copy, take photographs, screenshots or videos of Q&A or any chat that takes place in the virtual space.
SITC encourages live tweeting and other social media during in person and virtual programs. Guidelines for the use of social media include:
- Promoting the dedicated program hashtag in your tweets
- Using tweets as a forum for discussion and engagement (use of “@” nametags)
- Do not live-tweet presentations or posters until the presentation or poster session has officially opened.
- Be respectful and do not share information of presenting authors who:
- Opt-out of social media, or who use a “no social media” icon in their material:
- Indicate that content should not be shared publicly using a camera icon with a black circle and slash on slides or posters:
- Include the words “DO NOT POST” on slides or posters
- Do not use digital photographs of slides in social media and avoid posting raw data unless it is already in the public domain.
- Be mindful that live-tweeting provides an open-air forum for the presenters, the conference attendees and the public – good manners and respect should prevail.
Responsible Drinking: In-Person Programs
Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages may be served at SITC networking and other events. SITC expects participants at its events to consume alcoholic beverages responsibly and comply with such rules, requirements and restrictions as SITC may establish in connection therewith. This may include rules, requirements and restrictions pertaining to the imposition of conditions (such as the requirement of providing identification) to obtain an alcoholic beverage, allowing SITC and other event staff to limit or deny service to any participant for any reason, and/or to require a participant to leave an event on account of failure to comply with applicable rules, requirements and restrictions.
Anti-Harassment and Other Misconduct
SITC in-person and virtual meetings and events are convened for purposes of professional development, to promote scholarly and educational interchange in the spirit of free inquiry and expression and to carry out SITC’s stated purposes and mission. Harassment of colleagues and other meeting or event participants undermines the principle of equity at the heart of SITC’s meetings and events and is inconsistent with the principles of free inquiry and free expression. Consequently, SITC considers such harassment to be a form of misconduct subject to appropriate remedial action as described herein.
All participants and attendees at SITC meetings and events are expected to abide by this anti-harassment policy in all meeting settings, virtual or in-person, as well as at any ancillary events and official and unofficial social gatherings.
- Persistent and unwelcome solicitation of emotional or physical intimacy, whether or not accompanied by real or implied threat of professional, financial or physical harm
- Harassing photography or recording
- Harassment, intimidation, stalking, following, or discrimination in any form
- Excessive swearing and offensive jokes
- Verbal or online abuse of participants and attendees
- Disruption of presentations at sessions, in exhibition areas, or at other events organized by SITC, including in the form of disruptive or abusive use of virtual chat or engagement features. All in person and virtual participants must comply with the instructions of the moderator and any SITC event staff.
- Retaliation for reporting harassment
- Reporting harassment in bad faith
- Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to, verbal or online comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations, or threatening any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, SITC staff member, service provider, or other person present at a SITC meeting or event whether in-person or virtual.
- Participants should not copy, take photographs, screenshots or videos of Q&A or any chat room activity that takes place in the virtual space.
- Presentations, positing, and messages should not contain promotional materials, special offers, job offers, product announcements, or solicitation for services. SITC reserves the right to remove such messages and potentially ban sources of those solicitations
SITC reminds meeting and event participants and attendees that SITC has zero-tolerance for any form of harassment or discrimination at SITC in-person and virtual meetings and events. The Executive Directors (see contact information below) or any other SITC staff are available for consultation with any meeting or event participant or attendee who believes they have experienced any form of harassment while at any SITC meeting or event.
SITC reserves the right to take any action it deems necessary or appropriate, including immediate removal from or revocation of access to the meeting or event without warning or refund as well as imposition of further sanctions, in order to respond to any violation of this policy. Further, SITC reserves the right to prohibit anyone who violates this policy from attending any SITC future meeting or event.
Reporting Harassment or Unacceptable Behavior
Any participant or attendee who is subjected to or witnesses an incident of harassment or abusive behavior may be asked to file a written report. Reports should include identification of the offender (or description); behaviors or actions by that person; circumstances around the incident; day, time and session; and others present. All written reports will be kept confidential.
Threatening behaviors, harassment, intimidation or other unacceptable behaviors not reported during the meeting or event may be reported to SITC staff after the conference by contacting Mary Dean (see contact information below). All complaints will be treated seriously and responded to promptly.
A participant or attendee who believes he or she was falsely or unfairly accused of violating this policy should notify the Executive Director (see contact information below).
SITC Executive Director Contact Information:
Mary Dean, JD, CAE
Executive Director, SITC
555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100
Milwaukee WI 53202
Personal Safety and Security: In-Person Programs
In addition to the foregoing, SITC works diligently to provide a safe and secure environment for all participants and attendees at its meetings and events. In this regard, SITC recommends the following precautions in connection with attendance at meetings and events:
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times
- Use the buddy system when walking to and from the event venue and networking event locations during early or late hours
- Do not wear your meeting badge on the street. Take it off as soon as you leave the building/venue
- Do not carry a lot of cash or credit cards. Leave in your hotel room safe
- Do not leave personal property unattended anywhere, anytime
If there is an emergency or if you need immediate assistance, you are encouraged to ask any SITC staff member, venue staff, on-site security personnel and/or the local police to help you.
SITC Financial Conflicts of Interest (FCOI) Policy
The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is the world’s leading member-driven organization specifically dedicated to improving cancer patient outcomes by advancing the science and application of cancer immunotherapy. SITC is not-for-profit medical professional society of influential research scientists, physician scientists, clinicians, patients, patient advocates, government representatives and industry leaders dedicated to improving cancer patient outcomes by advancing the science and application of cancer immunotherapy. It is the mission of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer to improve cancer patient outcomes by advancing the science, development and application of cancer immunology and immunotherapy through our core values of interaction/integration, innovation, translation and leadership in the field.Policies/Processes
The affairs of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) shall be conducted with concern for the avoidance of any real or apparent conflict of interest on the part of its investigators (PI, faculty, planners, and/or managers). Representatives of SITC should make known to the appropriate person (usually the president and or executive director) a conflict of interest that they might have on any matter under consideration by a group in which they participate. Those who have a conflict of interest on a matter, which comes to vote, shall not vote on any motion which involves the matter.
An actual conflict of interest arises when a person is in a position that requires the exercise of judgment on behalf of SITC and the person also has financial, professional or personal interests (either the person’s own or an interest that is attributed to the person by virtue of interests held by a spouse, partner, minor children or someone with whom income is directly shared) of the sort that is likely to, or does directly, interfere with the exercise of the individual’s judgment on behalf of SITC.
The appearance of a conflict of interest is present if there is a potential for the financial, professional or personal interests of a person (either the person’s own or an interest that is attributed to the person by virtue of interests held by a spouse, partner, minor children or someone with whom income is directly shared) to be at odds with the person’s obligation to SITC and the circumstances are such that a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts would question the person's ability to act in SITC’s best interests and not be compromised by that person’s financial, professional or personal interests.
SITC representatives with a conflict may be leading experts on the subject matter under consideration, and SITC should have the benefit of their expertise. Therefore, members with a conflict of interest may be permitted to participate in consideration of a matter, but only after their conflict on that matter has been made known. It is not necessary that all details of the conflict be divulged to the rest of the group. However, it is necessary that all the discussants know enough so that they can receive the comments from the members with a conflict in their proper context. If it is determined that due to the conflict it is inappropriate for the member(s) to contribute to the conversation, the president or presiding officer, or committee chair persons will make that determination
Per NIH requirements, SITC complies with all requirements of 42 CFR 50, Subpart F, "Responsibility of Applicants for Promoting Objectivity in Research for which PHS Funding is Sought" (FCOI Regulation), as implemented in the 2011 Final Rule for grants and cooperative agreements.
SITC provides this Financial Conflicts of Interest (FCOI) policy to all investigators who affect the content of an educational activity and are required to disclose their own financial relationships; as well as relationships to products or devices their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of the activity of any amount over the past 12 months.
SITC requires disclosure form completion from investigators, as a way to comply with NIH requirements and ensure they are informed of our policy, their disclosure responsibilities, and the federal regulation. Disclosure form completion is required: (1) No later than at the time of application for PHS-funded research; (2) At least annually during the period of the award; and (3) Within 30 days of discovering or acquiring a new significant financial interest (SFI).
The SITC President and/or Executive Director shall review disclosure forms, determine if relevant SFIs and FCOIs exist, and implement and monitor management plans for actual SFIs and FCOIs; these steps shall be guided by the SITC Board of Directors’ conflict disclosure guidelines.
The Executive Director, along with the FCOI Assistant, shall send any required FCOI reports to NIH, according to the regulation. This includes but is not limited to annual reports, mitigation reports, and any findings of bias. Further, when requested, the Executive Director will promptly make information available to the NIH/HHS relating to any investigator disclosure of financial interests and SITC’s review of, and response to, such disclosure, whether or not the disclosure resulted in SITC’s determination of an FCOI.
SITC National Office shall maintain all FCOI-related records that meet or exceed the regulatory requirements: For at least three (3) years from the date the final expenditures report is submitted to the PHS (NIH); and From other dates specified in 45 CFR 75.361, where applicable.
Those in non-compliance with this policy and disclosure requirements may result in removal of an investigator from the relevant grant or project. After a determination of non-compliance, the SITC Executive Committee shall complete and document a retrospective review within 120 days. SITC does not apply for or receive grants for clinical research; as such, additional DHHS non-compliance reporting requirements do not apply.
SITC shall meet all subrecipient FCOI requirements, as applicable.
This policy is publicly posted on the SITC website. SITC will also publicly post any information concerning
identified FCOIs, in accordance with the regulation.
Additional Conflicts for Consideration
In addition to the above mentioned disclosure, the IRS requires disclosure if any of the organization’s officers, directors, trustees, or key employees, had a family relationship or business relationship with another of the organization’s officers, directors, trustees, or key employees, at any time during the organization’s tax year. For each family and business relationship, identify the persons and describe their relationship. It is sufficient to enter “family relationship” or “business relationship” without greater detail.
Investigators are those:
· defined as the PD/PI and any other person, regardless of title or position;
· who are responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of research funded by PHS, or proposed for such
· and may include, for example, collaborators or consultants.
Definition of Financial Relationship
Financial relationships are those relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria for promotional speakers’ bureau, ownership interest (e.g., stocks, stock options or other ownership interest, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit. Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and other activities from which remuneration is received, or expected. ACCME considers relationships of the person involved in the CME activity to include financial relationships of a spouse or partner. Contracted research includes research funding where the institution gets the grant, manages the funds and the person is the principal or named investigator on the grant. There is no minimum dollar amount for relationships.
Definition of Commercial Interest
A commercial interest is any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. Providers of clinical service directly to patients are not commercial interests (unless the provider of clinical service is owned, or controlled by, a commercial interest).
Other Possible Financial Conflicts
o Paid consultancy or expert testimony within the past two years
o Research funding (identify subject matter and funding organization, if permissible)
o Honoraria, stipends, or gifts exceeding $100 in value per engagement directly received from an entity
Additionally, the 2011 revised regulation defines a “significant financial interest” as follows:
(1) A financial interest consisting of one or more of the following interests of the Investigator (and those of the
Investigator’s spouse and dependent children) that reasonably appears to be related to the Investigator’s
(i) With regard to any publicly traded entity, a significant financial interest exists if the value of any
remuneration received from the entity in the twelve months preceding the disclosure and the
value of any equity interest in the entity as of the date of disclosure, when aggregated, exceeds
$5,000. For purposes of this definition, remuneration includes salary and any payment for
services not otherwise identified as salary (e.g., consulting fees, honoraria, paid authorship);
equity interest includes any stock, stock option, or other ownership interest, as determined
through reference to public prices or other reasonable measures of fair market value;
(ii) With regard to any non-publicly traded entity, a significant financial interest exists if the value of any
remuneration received from the entity in the twelve months preceding the disclosure, when
aggregated, exceeds $5,000, or when the Investigator (or the Investigator’s spouse or dependent
children) holds any equity interest (e.g., stock, stock option, or other ownership interest); or
(iii) Intellectual property rights and interests (e.g., patents, copyrights), upon receipt of income related to such rights and interests.
(2) Investigators also must disclose the occurrence of any reimbursed or sponsored travel (i.e., that which is paid on behalf of that individual and not reimbursed to the them so that the exact monetary value may not be readily available), related to their institutional responsibilities; provided, however, that this disclosure requirement does not apply to travel that is reimbursed or sponsored by a federal, state, or local government agency, an Institution of higher education as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a), an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an Institution of higher education. The Institution’s FCOI policy will specify the details of this disclosure, which will include, at a minimum, the purpose of the trip, the identity of the sponsor/organizer, the destination, and the duration. In accordance with the Institution’s FCOI policy, the institutional official(s) will determine if further information is needed, including a determination or disclosure of monetary value, in order to determine whether the travel constitutes an FCOI with the PHS-funded research.
(3) The term significant financial interest does not include the following types of financial interests: salary, royalties, or other remuneration paid by the Institution to the investigator if they are currently employed or otherwise appointed by the Institution, including intellectual property rights assigned to the Institution and agreements to share in royalties related to such rights; any ownership interest in the Institution held by the Investigator, if the Institution is a commercial or for-profit organization; income from investment vehicles, such as mutual funds and retirement accounts, as long as the Investigator does not directly control the investment decisions made in these vehicles; income from seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by a federal, state, or local government agency, an Institution of higher education as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a), an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an Institution of higher education; or income from service on advisory committees or review panels for a federal, state, or local government agency, an Institution of higher education as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a), an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an Institution of higher education.
SITC defines “business relationships” between two persons to include any of the following:
- One person is employed by the other in a sole proprietorship or by an organization with which the other is associated as a trustee, director, officer, key employee, or greater-than-35% owner.
- One person is transacting business with the other (other than in the ordinary course of either party’s business on the same terms as are generally offered to the public), directly or indirectly, in one or more contracts of sale, lease, license, loan, performance of services, or other transaction involving transfers of cash or property valued in excess of $10,000 in the aggregate during the organization’s tax year. Indirect transactions are transactions with an organization with which the one person is associated as a trustee, director, officer, key employee, or greater-than-35% owner. Such transactions do not include charitable contributions to tax-exempt organizations.
- The two persons are each a director, trustee, officer, or greater than 10% owner in the same business or investment entity (but not in the same tax-exempt organization).
Ownership is measured by stock ownership (either voting power or value) of a corporation, profits or capital interest in a partnership or limited liability company, membership interest in a nonprofit organization, or beneficial interest in a trust. Ownership includes indirect ownership (for example, ownership in an entity that has ownership in the entity in question); there may be ownership through multiple tiers of entities.
Privileged relationship exception: A “business relationship” does not include a relationship between an attorney and client, a medical professional (including psychologist) and patient, or a priest/clergy and penitent/communicant.
END OF POLICY