Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 207–226 | Cite as

Mentoring for Responsible Research: The Creation of a Curriculum for Faculty to Teach RCR in the Research Environment

  • Dena K. Plemmons
  • Michael W. Kalichman


Despite more than 25 years of a requirement for training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR), there is still little consensus about what such training should include, how it should be delivered, nor what constitutes “effectiveness” of such training. This lack of consensus on content, approaches and outcomes is evident in recent data showing high variability in the development and implementation of RCR instruction across universities and programs. If we accept that one of the primary aims of instruction in RCR/research ethics is “to foster a community of social responsibility” (Antes et al. 2009: 398), then it makes sense to consider the research environment itself—where learning one’s science happens where one also engages in social interaction around that science. In order to take the best advantage of that already existing/naturally occurring research environment, the authors, through a deliberative, collaborative, and integrative process, crafted a workshop curriculum meant to arm research faculty with concrete and specific tools to effectively introduce research ethics in the context of the research environment.


Research ethics Responsible conduct of research Curriculum development Mentoring 



The project reported here was conducted with support from a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project titled “Integrating Ethics Education: Capacity-Building Workshops for Science and Engineering Faculty” (NSF Grant #1135358). The expert panelists who were part of the consensus conference included: John Ahearne (Sigma Xi), Melissa Anderson (University of Minnesota), Mark Appelbaum (UC San Diego), Yuchen Cao (UC San Diego), Michael Davis (Illinois Institute of Technology), Chris DeBoever (UC San Diego), Mark Frankel (AAAS), C.K. Gunsalus (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Elizabeth Heitman (Vanderbilt), Joseph Herkert (Arizona State University), Rachelle Hollander (National Academy of Engineering), Crane Huang (UC San Diego), Deborah Johnson (University of Virginia), Nancy Jones (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, DHHS), Michael Kalichman (UC San Diego), Nelson Kiang (Harvard Medical School), Philip Langlais (Old Dominion University), Francis Macrina (Virginia Commonwealth University), Brian Martinson (HealthPartners Research Foundation), Michael Mumford (University of Oklahoma), Ken Pimple (Indiana University), Dena Plemmons (UC San Diego), Patrick Wu (UC San Diego), and Guangming Zheng (UC San Diego).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Ethics Education ProgramUniversity of California, RiversideRiversideUSA
  2. 2.Research Ethics ProgramUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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