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:
However, the other sections also contain elements of “RCR”. For example, under Research Skills, they have the skills of “navigating the peer review process”; “interpretation of data”; and “statistical analysis.” Under Professionalism, they include “complying with rules and regulations.” The entire sections of Communication and Management and Leadership Skills are full of elements considered typical RCR topics, as well as some that should be part of our discussions of ethical practice in research [e.g., time management].
Increasingly, various science organizations have proposed agreements or "individual development plans" (IDPs) to spell out mutual obligations for mentors and postdocs (AAMC, 2008a) and mentors and graduate students (AAMC, 2008b). The value of such agreements is summarized in a widely cited manual for training of graduate students (University of Michigan, 2011):
Departments can affirm that mentoring is a core component of the educational experience for graduate students by developing a compact or agreement, relevant to the discipline or field of study, for use by faculty and the students with whom they work. Such a document would list the essential commitments and responsibilities of both parties, set within the context of the department’s fundamental values. This could be included in the departmental handbook and reviewed—or even signed— by both parties to acknowledge the mentoring relationship.
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) provides on their website an IDP for postdocs, which is not only a template for planning one’s career, but also “serve[s] as a communication tool between individuals and their mentors” (http://www.faseb.org/portals/0/pdfs/opa/idp.pdf). Additionally, Science Careers has “myIDP” (http://myidp.sciencecareers.org), a tool which also includes skill, interest and values assessments, and provides a very useful framework for thinking through the ethical implications
of our scientific practice. The presumption is that such plans/agreements/instruments will open channels of communication and serve as a reminder of mutual roles and responsibilities for a successful training experience
1. Which of the sample development plan items (next page) is/are appropriate to your discipline?
2. Would such a development plan be useful or counterproductive in promoting responsible conduct?
Using the sample plan as a starting point, design an IDP for your research group. In doing so, consider:
What should be changed? Deleted? Added?
How and when would you use such an agreement?
Present your draft agreement to the workshop participants.