This 15-hour course addresses ethics and the responsible conduct of research. It goes beyond merely checking the box on compliance training by providing participants with concepts and vocabulary relevant to the ethical challenges expected in any type of research. Participants build skills to identify and address dilemmas that arise in their work.

The course is guided by three claims. First, ethics is an everyday phenomenon. Ethics is simply part of doing our jobs and living our lives. The need to apply ethical thinking and moral reasoning is not a sign that something has gone wrong. Second, science is a profession. Although the practice of research is not regulated the way that law, medicine, and accounting are, scientific research comes with standards. Those standards are relevant both in “pure,” academic research and in industry research. Third, companies can lower their risk of ethical liability. Organizations whose researchers have the skills and confidence to discuss ethical challenges that arise in their work are less likely to face problems that result from unethical choices, and are better prepared to address adverse events when they do happen.

The course begins with an overview of moral reasoning. It presents a specific technique for approaching ethics in any situation. This approach focuses on the following sequence: facts, values, dilemmas, issues, argument. After some practice, participants learn to apply this approach to the areas of responsible conduct of research identified by the federal Office of Research Integrity. Special emphasis will be placed on ethics of research with human subjects.

Each topic is introduced using concepts from philosophy combined with practical examples. Group and individual exercises provide practice for application of concepts and techniques.

Who Should Attend

This course is intended for personnel designing, conducting, or supervising research activities. It will be especially valuable for those who are responsible for creating a workplace culture that promotes pro-active ethical action, and who may be held accountable when things do not go well with research and testing of new products.

Please click here to register for this course.