Intervention to Promote Responsible Conduct of Research Mentoring


Although much of the focus on responsible conduct in research has been defined by courses or online training, it is generally understood that this is less important than what happens in the research environment. On the assumption that providing faculty with tools and resources to address the ethical dimensions of the practice of research would be useful, a new workshop was convened ten times across seven academic institutions and at the annual meeting of a professional society. Workshops were attended by 91 faculty, 71 (78% response rate) of whom completed evaluations strongly supportive of the value of the workshop. Surveys of trainees identified by the faculty allowed for invitations to complete an online survey before and 6 months after the workshops, respectively resulting in response rates of 43 and 51%. Faculty and trainees were highly supportive of the feasibility, relevance, and effectiveness of the implementation by the faculty of one or more of the five strategies featured in the workshop. However, surprisingly over 70% of the trainees reported use of one or more of those strategies prior to faculty participation in the workshops. In sum, the workshops for faculty were successful, and the proposed strategies were deemed of value, but it is likely that the faculty voluntarily choosing to participate in these workshops were perhaps not surprisingly faculty who are already engaging in some of these strategies. This model is likely a useful adjunct to encouraging a culture of ethics, but it is not by itself sufficient to do so.

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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 to produce this workshop curriculum 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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Correspondence to Michael W. Kalichman.


Appendix 1

Your Anonymous Evaluation of this Workshop will be Invaluable for Planning for Future Versions of this Type of Program

Using a scale of 1–5 (1 = very low, 5 = very high), please rate the extent to which today's workshop helped you to meet the stated objectives for your particular research environment, which include being able to:

1. Articulate rationales for integrating research ethics education
2. List and describe ethics topics suitable and useful to be addressed
3. List and describe approaches for integrating research ethics education
4. Design one or more activities to introduce research ethics
5. Using a scale of 1 to 5 (1=very low, 5=very high), how would you score the overall value of this workshop?
6. How, if at all, have your perceptions or understanding been changed by participating in today’s workshop?  
7. How would you describe the value of this workshop to your plans for teaching or promoting research ethics?  
8. What changes would you recommend to help improve future versions of this workshop?  
9. Please use the space below or the back of this page if you have any additional comments or suggestions about future workshops on this topic:  

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

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Kalichman, M.W., Plemmons, D.K. Intervention to Promote Responsible Conduct of Research Mentoring. Sci Eng Ethics 24, 699–725 (2018).

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  • Research ethics
  • Responsible conduct of research
  • Mentoring