FENS Forums are professional scientific meetings that provide a respectful, harassment-free and inclusive environment for all participants, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, appearance, ethnicity, race, national origin, pregnancy, medical condition, genetic information, ancestry, marital status, citizenship, age or religion.

All delegates, in person and online, including speakers, exhibitors, poster presenters, media, staff and other participants are expected to behave with integrity and respect towards other delegates attending or involved with the FENS Forum and/or any related event or activity.

The present Code of Conduct supplements, but does not affect, the application of other relevant policies, regulations, rules and laws, including laws regulating the country, the premises in which the FENS Forum takes place and any applicable host country agreement. FENS complies with such policies and will report all inappropriate conduct accordingly.

FENS is committed to informing the Forum participants about the Code of Conduct. Likewise, FENS is committed to installing procedures and guidance for appropriate reporting of unacceptable behaviour of any kind.

In case of a breach of the Code of Conduct, the concerned individuals or witnesses are encouraged to report it in the following ways:

  • For immediate action onsite, contact any FENS staff member [at the FENS booth]. The FENS booth is located at the entrance to the exhibition and poster hall.
  • If you feel threatened, do not hesitate to approach a security person onsite. They are located at the main doors and circulate throughout the exhibition and poster hall.
  • For reporting online, fill in the online FENS Forum Incident Report Form or write to forum2024@fens.org.
  • In addition to reporting to conference organisers, individuals may report aggressions to the Police. The Austrian police can be reached by dialling the emergency number 133 or the European emergency number 112. The FENS team, as well as the security team at the congress center, can support in contacting the police.

Once a report has been submitted, FENS will pursue action in a way that maintains the anonymity of the concerned individual. If any enforcement action requires the breach of this anonymity, it will only be applied after informed consent is obtained from the concerned individual.

The Forum organisers reserve the right to take any action to prevent and report any violation of the present Code of Conduct as deemed necessary. The necessary actions will be decided on a case-by-case basis, and can include the following:

  • involving the onsite security and medical team
  • filing a police report when appropriate
  • reporting to host institutions of reported individuals
  • permanent removal from the in-person and/or virtual online Forum and any related credentials

FENS cannot investigate reports of harassment or other misconduct onsite, but will refer victims to the appropriate authorities and will inform the relevant department(s) of the offender’s host institution about any registered reports.

For the purpose of these guidelines, harassment consists of improper or unwelcome conduct that might reasonably be perceived as causing offence or humiliation to another person. Harassment may involve any conduct of a verbal, non-verbal or physical nature, including written and electronic communication. Harassment in any form is not tolerated at the Forum.

Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Comments – whether verbal or written – that reinforce social structures of domination related to e.g., career status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, ethnicity, race, age, religion, political affiliation
  • Any form of bullying or abuse of power through coercion, manipulation, etc.
  • The production or non-consensual sharing of photography or unwanted recording, including sexual images, in public spaces (in any format, electronic or otherwise)
  • Deliberate intimidation, humiliation, stalking or following
  • Sustained disruption of poster presentations, talks, sessions or other events
  • Inappropriate physical contact
  • Unwelcomed sexual attention
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviours

Unless otherwise specified, Forum badges indicating the name of the person in possession of the delegate or exhibitor’s badge, should always be visibly worn inside the restricted areas of the Forum venue.

All events (including educational sessions and exhibit hall activities) are exclusively reserved for registered participants. Non-registered individuals will not be permitted in any of the event areas. This rule excludes infants and small children of registered delegates (or similar) who may access the Forum premises under the sole responsibility and constant supervision of a registered parent and/or designated caretaker. Unregistered adults are welcomed into the central entrance hall.

Mobile phones, tablets, computers and other electronic devices must be set to silent mode throughout all scientific sessions of the Forum.

Smoking is prohibited inside the entire congress centre, except in designated smoking areas where applicable. Smoking outside is permitted according to the specific guidelines of the venue.

Where alcoholic beverages are available in the context of the Forum, participants are expected to drink responsibly. Individuals that are visibly under the influence of alcohol or other legal or illegal substances will be escorted from the Forum venue and will not be allowed re-entry.

Delegates should express cultural sensitivity and respect towards all Forum participants with regards but not limited to clothing and appearance.

Any recording, filming, or other capturing of presentations at the Forum, including of scientific posters is not acceptable without the expressed clear consent of the presenter.

All data and scientific research that is presented at the FENS Forum must be based on (original) research findings that have been derived from procedures and experiments that adhere to the accepted guidelines for good ethical and experimental research conduct. Presenters are responsible for the content of their presentations, whether oral or written, and shall secure appropriate consent from collaborators and funders, as relevant, prior to any presentation at the FENS Forum.

The presentation of research or data within sessions, posters or in other formal or informal engagements is the sole responsibility of the presenter. FENS is not responsible for the data, its accuracy, or the way it was obtained. By submitting abstracts and posters, the authors unanimously give consent to FENS to present their materials onsite (physically) and online (digitally) on the app and on any other virtual Forum platforms. By submitting abstracts, the authors also unanimously give consent to FENS to make the abstracts publicly downloadable.

Bags, containers or suitcases may not be left unattended at any time in or around the venue. The Forum offers designated cloak rooms for such effects. FENS furthermore advises delegates to use hotel safety deposit boxes for all valuables. FENS takes no responsibility for lost and stolen items in or around the Forum venue.

The organisers do not accept liability for personal accidents, loss, or damage to private property, which may be incurred as a result of the participation in FENS Forums. Participants are advised to secure appropriate insurance (health, travel, theft, or otherwise) for their stay and travel to and from the FENS Forum.

In accordance with national and European law, including national health and safety rules, registration and/or admittance to the FENS Forum is exclusively reserved for participants who are 18 years of age or older. Registration of a person under 18 is unauthorised and in violation of the Forum terms and conditions for delegates and will automatically result in the forfeit of the registration. Personal ID should be carried at all times and be provided to Forum staff upon request.

Unregistered individuals will only be granted access to the venue following special agreement with the organisers. If special access to the Forum is needed for any reason, and no registration is available, the person should contact the registration desk for support. Supervised minors and invited adults may in special instances have access to the Forum. Such access will be granted case by case by the organisers.

As mentioned above under “Required behaviour inside and around the Forum venue,” infants and small children of registered delegates (or similar) may access the Forum premises under the sole responsibility and supervision of a registered parent and/or designated caretaker. Childcare services in a dedicated ‘Kindergarten’ may be offered to registered participants onsite at the FENS Forum 2024. A child shall only be admitted to the ‘Kindergarten’, provided the registered parent and/or designated caretaker confirms in writing their acceptance of the terms and conditions of the ‘Kindergarten’.

Children that are registered to the ‘Kindergarten’ can be with their parents at the ‘Kindergarten’ room, as well as the main lobby and restaurants. Children cannot enter the session rooms, poster area, exhibition and other public areas. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Babies can be with their parents anywhere at the congress center, parents are asked to respect the learning environment in the session rooms.

Attendees of the Forum are required to respect the privacy of other participants and refrain from any unauthorised or unwelcomed recording or photography. Participants are not allowed to take photos or videos of scientific material shown unless express prior consent by the presenter has been ascertained. Moreover, substantial or integral recording of oral presentations is not allowed unless these are done by a professional entity that has been contracted for this purpose by or on behalf of the organiser. The use of flash is not allowed in any session hall or in the exhibition areas unless performed by an authorised professional photographer.

Taking photos and recordings within the Forum environment for professional use is not allowed without obtaining prior permission from the organiser.

FENS follows the guideline for consent related to the use of pictures with identifiable persons in a public space under the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Recordings via video, photography or other means of FENS Forum participants is in general allowed as long as people are not shown in incriminatory or private situations and images are not used in a misleading or derogatory way. Any publication of photos or videos on social media requires the clear consent of all participants. It is highly recommended for anyone to obtain permission before the sharing of such content, including on social media.

FENS adheres to the copyright laws guiding the appropriate sharing of scientific research material, including data. Authors’ consent may be requested by FENS in case sharing of scientific material from abstracts/posters/presentations will be required as part of FENS educational activities.

Presenters and exhibitors are strongly encouraged to clearly indicate whether or not photography/recording of the poster, presentation, or exhibit booth and sharing/remixing of the material is permitted. To aid in this process, FENS will provide presenters with a digital graphic image to incorporate into their slides/posters or to print and display. The images are available on the FENS Forum 2024 website.

By registering to the Forum, participants, presenters and exhibitors agree that FENS shall be entitled to use images of the Forum collected by the FENS photographer for use in future promotional materials. If participants, presenters or exhibitors do not agree to such use, they can object to such use by sending an email to forum2024@fens.org before the end of the Forum.

FENS encourages open and respectful discussions on social media and blogging platforms. Nonetheless, participants are requested to not post images or videos online without obtaining appropriate permission. Participants are requested to respect any request from an author not to disseminate the contents of their presentation/poster. Participants who do not respect these provisions will themselves be fully liable for any claims made in this regard.

While the FENS Forum is organised in objectively safe cities/areas, Forum delegates are encouraged to observe safe practices while traveling and attending the FENS Forum.