GIWS Code of Conduct

The Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS) is committed to providing a safe, respectful, and accessible workplace for everyone. By adhering to the principles in the Code of Conduct, GIWS faculty, students, staff, technicians, and partners will actively nurture a healthy work environment and lead by example. Adhering to the GIWS Code of Conduct is essential for achieving the institute’s Mission, Vision, Values. The GIWS Code of Conduct requires members of the institute to:

  1. Treat people with dignity and respect in accordance with the principle of Manācihitowin: a Cree/Michif phrase that translates to ‘let us respect each other’.
  2. Participate in all activities in the institute including research, outreach, and knowledge mobilization with academic integrity in accordance with the University of Saskatchewan’s Guidelines for Academic Conduct.
  3. Respect the rules and policies of the University of Saskatchewan including the University of Saskatchewan’s Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy.
  4. Act with integrity and honesty and take personal responsibility for behaviour and conduct.
  5. Practice accountability by working together to identify problems and adjust practices to create a welcoming environment that fosters inclusive excellence and belonging.

There will be no tolerance for any behavior that is considered by students, faculty, staff, or partners to be racism, sexism, ableism, harassment, bullying, threatening, violent, or aggressive in nature. Formal complaints of discrimination or harassment must be submitted to the University of Saskatchewan’s Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services or local authorities.

Reporting Procedures

To learn more about reporting procedures or report a complaint of discrimination or harassment contact:

The Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS) Code of Conduct does not impact the enforcement of local, provincial, and national laws.

Additional Resources


  • Reviewing and agreeing to the code of conduct will be included in future job contracts with GIWS.
  • Reviewing and agreeing to the code of conduct will be a requirement of the GIWS membership agreement as well as for visiting scholars and students.

Communicating our Research: Code of Conduct for Public Engagement

A Guide to Communicating our Research: Code of Conduct for Public Engagement


A critical mechanism for sharing the work of the institute and of water at USask is through engagement with organizations, governments, and the general public. This engagement can be through meetings, conferences, and workshops, or through the media. While it is important that we share research findings and the evidence base for policy and practice, we need to be sensitive to who we represent and the potential impacts for partners, collaborators, and the general public.

Why We Communicate

The University of Saskatchewan is the #1-ranked institution for water resources research in Canada and one of the top universities in the world. Therefore, the water community @USask are among the best people on the planet to address tough questions from the media, key audiences, and the public. Building trust and becoming a trusted place for the very best and current information must be part of our mandate as water research communicators. Some of the current critical issues of interest locally, nationally, and internationally include:

  • Irrigation
  • Hydroelectricity
  • Water and equity / inequalities
  • Impacts of climate change and weather
  • Indigenous water governance
  • Toxicology and identification
  • Global climate reports
  • National and provincial water policies and governance

Peers, Partners, and Transparency

The University of Saskatchewan is a publicly-funded institution that strives to provide the best research and information on critical water-related subjects. It is important to remember that our research is often in collaboration with other entities and people. Whenever possible, water researchers need to consider that their expertise is research-based and not necessarily policy- or practice-based. If there is enough time to do so, it is advised that researchers consider communicating with partners before public communications such as media interviews, news releases, or other communications become publicly available.

Some things to consider:

  • Have you communicated the broader context behind the current situation or your research?
  • Who else was involved?
  • Should they be part of the story?
  • If so, how do you include them in the story?
  • Will this story create more work for partners (e.g., calls from a concerned public)? If so, consider giving them time to prepare.
  • Whose voices are being neglected if you don’t ask others / partners to be part of the communication?
  • Have you acknowledged all of your affiliations, funding, and partners?

A few of our collaborators and partners:

  • Water Security Agency
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Various watershed authorities - provincially and nationally
  • Ducks Unlimited Canada
  • Other USask schools and departments
  • Other universities in Canada and around the world

Freedom of academic expression

Research faculty at the University of Saskatchewan are protected by academic freedom of expression that maintains a respectful and inclusive environment and that does not impinge on the rights and freedoms of others. However, it is important to remember that our service to the public is providing research-based evidence. What to keep in mind:

  • Your message should reflect your research service to the public
  • You should always try to provide more clarity than confusion
  • If your message is going against other messages that are out there, how can you contextualize it with respect to other competing interests so that the public are not confused by seemingly different messages from trusted groups such as other academics, civil society organisations, or governments.

Responding to the Media

One of the best ways to get your message out and to become a trusted partner for information is to respond to media interviews. Some points to consider when speaking to the media:

  • Focus on your area of expertise
  • Remember to stick to the research and the science
  • Provide local and global context on water issues as it relates to the topic
  • Remember the Vision and Mission of GIWS
  • Reach out to the USask Media Relations office and to GIWS so that we are aware and can amplify through social media and newsletters

Resources and Support

There is support for communications through the University of Saskatchewan Office of the Vice-President Research’s Research Profile and Impact department, and the Associate-Vice President and CCO, Strategic Communications office. Key contacts:

  • USask Media Relations Office
  • AVP Strategic Communications Office
  • Director of Research Profile and Impact Office
  • GIWS Main Office

Don’t forget to let the communications team for GIWS know so that we can amplify your communications through our website, newsletters, and social media.

Thanks for considering communicating your work!