These materials are designed to provide motivation and content sufficient for an instructor to lead a workshop titled: “Mentoring for Responsible Research.” The long-term goal is to foster an environment in which research faculty are better empowered to initiate conversations within their research groups about the responsible conduct of research. Workshop participants are introduced to rationales, content, approaches, and resources so that they will have the means to develop and implement concrete, discipline-specific strategies for research ethics mentoring.
The Instructor's ...
The Instructor's Guide mirrors the syllabus and gives teaching notes and additional resources. A template for the workshop syllabus (in Word) format and two sample syllabi (Example Syllabus 1 and Example Syllabus 2) in pdf format are available for download.
NOTES TO THE INSTRUCTOR:
Much of teaching about research ethics can be handled effectively through one-on-one mentoring on an ad hoc basis. The fact that this happens all too rarely may simply be a matter of being overlooked. An easy solution is to create a reminder checklist for items particularly important to cover (e.g., see Gawande, 2011) as well as stages of training when those items might best be covered. A terrific example of how a checklist can be used in this way is the “Checklist for Research Students and their Supervisors at the University of Oxford” (2014). The goal is to ensure that practical issues will be addressed at appropriate times when training members of the research team.
The use of checklists as a tool for teaching about research ethics has many applications. So much of what we do as experienced researchers is done by rote; we no longer have to consciously think about what comes next. This is not true for our trainees. While the material to be covered in a checklist will vary by discipline, some topics likely to be important for trainees in any discipline include the following:
1. Criteria for authorship
3. Standards for sharing
4. Ownership of materials (including plagiarism)
5. Risks of bias and how they can be addressed
6. Roles and responsibilities for mentors and trainees
7. Risks and benefits of collaborations
8. Writing of grants or protocols
9. Conflicts of commitment
10. Asking questions, consensus building, and whistleblowing
Checklists can be used not only as a reminder of key responsibilities, but also as detailed steps for particular tasks. For instance, this could be the steps necessary to do a specific experiment, or the steps necessary to calibrate a particular piece of equipment, or the expected elements to be to written in a lab notebook, or both the ethical and regulatory items to be addressing in securing Institutional Review Board approval for a study with human subjects. Examples of some of these uses are included among the resources for Checklists.
An optional tool to help in preparing a checklist is the “Checklist for Checklists” (2010) prepared by “Project Check” for the creation of medical checklists. As they note, the checklist is not a teaching tool or algorithm per se, though it can be useful to use with your trainees as a way to
collaboratively develop a lab-wide checklist of responsibilities to be covered or reviewed.
1. Are other items missing from the above list that are likely to be important for most if not all
2. What items might you want to add specific to your focus in science and engineering?