We, the members of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture, recognise that we have been awarded a unique opportunity, not only to advance research and practice in plant success, but also to make contributions to how we engage in the practice of research itself. The Centre is guided and structured according to three core values–integrity, inclusivity, and international excellence–all of which are required to enable successful transdisciplinary research.

A strong component of our work in paving a path to impact is the development of responsible gene technology and legal frameworks that reach from the use of plant collections through to gene manipulation and data sharing. Paramount to all this is the fostering of the next generation of multidisciplinary researchers who are ethical and collaborative, thought and action leaders.


The ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture is cognisant of its responsibility to conduct research in accordance with the requirements of the 2018 Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (the Code), and with other compliance frameworks, including institutional policies and procedures.  

To ensure the requirements of the Code are upheld, the Centre has established an Ethics Plan, inclusive of a Behaviours Inventory, to support its vision and mission, and to build a respectful and inclusive culture. Governance support in these aspects will be provided by the Centre Advisory Committee, the Scientific Advisory Panel and the Executive Management Committee.  

The Centre is committed to conducting research, and to providing research training, that promotes a research culture based on honesty, integrity and respect, so as to uphold the following principles as articulated in the Code and elaborated further below for this Centre:

  • Honesty in the development, undertaking and reporting of research 
  • Rigour in the development, undertaking and reporting of research 
  • Transparency in declaring interests and in reporting research methodology, data and findings, including with intellectual property and contractual commitments and in confidentiality 
  • Fairness in the treatment of others including upholding all aspects of personal safety and through valuing inclusion and transparency
  • Respect for research participants, the wider community, animals and the environment, cognisant of bias of gender, age, career, religion, physicality, responsibilities and discipline, and including rights to ownership and confidentiality 
  • Recognition of the right and value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be engaged in research that affects or is of particular significance to them 
  • Accountability for the development, undertaking and reporting of research 
  • Promotion of responsible research practices 

The Centre will seek to identify opportunities for continuous improvement in research practice. This will extend to undertaking appropriate training in research ethics and integrity. Being a transdisciplinary Centre of Excellence, the Centre will be proactive in ensuring that research ethics and integrity requirements are upheld by members as they collaborate across disciplines, and that members identify opportunities for improving research practice throughout the life of the Centre. 

Position statement on the use of genetic technologies

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture has adopted the Australian Academy of Science's Position Statement Gene Technology and Gene Modification.


Gene technology is integral to biotechnology and an important tool in modern biology. Australia has a strong position in global bioscience and is a significant contributor to advances in gene technology. The technology is being harnessed to gain fundamental insights into the molecular basis of life and has enabled the production of GM cotton and canola, the first broadacre GM crops to be released commercially in Australia. Coupled with existing breeding and production systems, gene technology and scientific innovation can deliver improved financial and environmental outcomes for the agricultural sector.

Recent advances in genetic technologies have greatly increased the range of options available to breeders. Of particular note is the CRISPR/Cas9 system, which allows precise, targeted changes to the genome of living cells, many of which will indistinguishable from changes brought about using conventional methods but will be obtained with greater precision and in a more timely manner. The Academy strongly supports transparency, scrutiny and safety of genetic research. The outcomes of these new applications should be scientifically evaluated with respect to public safety and environmental impacts well in advance any public release.


This behaviours inventory describes elements of trust that underpin the ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture. The Centre’s Chief Investigators (CIs) are passionate about providing a safe and productive workplace for researchers that will enable individuals to thrive while providing agency for a highly successful Centre. The Chief Investigators of the Centre believe strongly that all decisions are evidenced-based, and that evidence is well obtained and communicated. This means the best of active listening and informed feedback for the ongoing improvement of Centre activities including in governance and leadership. We will take courage to:

  1. change direction or emphasis if it will lead to better outcomes,
  2. avoid siloed thinking, confirmation bias and unnecessary specialisation or authority, and
  3. be soft on the person and hard on the issue, such that personal ambition and comfort are maintained, together with a clear demand to meet our mission. 

In addition to the Centre Vision, Mission and Ethics Plan, the following list of "braving" behaviours provides a guide for Centre members to conduct their daily activities. 


Boundaries You respect my boundaries, and when you’re not clear about what’s okay and not okay, you ask. You’re willing to say no.
Reliability You do what you say you’ll do. At work, this means staying aware of your competencies and limitations so you don’t over promise and are able to deliver on commitments and balance competing priorities..
Accountability You own your mistakes, apologize, and make amends.
Vault You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share. I need to know that my confidences are kept, and that you’re not sharing with me any information about other people that should be confidential.
Integrity You choose courage over comfort. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. And you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them.
Nonjudgment I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need. We can talk about how we feel without judgment.
Generosity You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others.

*Copyright © 2018 by Brené Brown, LLC.  All rights reserved.