The ethical conduct of science is increasingly under the spotlight from the public, media, and national regulatory bodies. The National Institute of Health recently released a notice requiring “…all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and dissertation research grant must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research”.
In the Research Ethics course taken by our students various aspects of research ethics are examined, including data collection and ownership, issues in the use of human and animal subjects, responsibilities of authorship, identifying and handling conflicts of interest, scientific misconduct, the peer review system, collaborative research in academia and industry, mentor/mentee relationships, contemporary ethical issues, and the role of the scientist as a responsible member of society. Each session has a readings list assigned and involves in depth small group discussions of relevant cases with faculty in small group discussions. Postdoctoral fellows, and students not needing the credit, may sign up for the course informally, but will still be expected to participate fully in order to receive a letter of course completion. Grading will be based on group participation and leadership of at least one group discussion.