Responsible Conduct in Research

To supplement the GEMS and Educational Immersion Experiences and to insure an introduction to the associated social and ethical implications of developments in biotechnology and genomics, each trainee will have the opportunity to take Ethics and Research Science (Biology 5011, taught by Robert Mercer, Ph.D., frequency: 1 hr/wk for 6 weeks) and Ethical and Legal Issues in Clinical Research (led by Stephen Lefrak, M.D. and Rebecca Dresser, J.D., frequency: 1 hr/wk for 14 weeks) during their appointment. These courses not only provide an overview of the critical success factors in clinical research, but also provide specific examples of issues related to genetic confidentiality, anonymizing data, the impact of breech of genetic confidentiality on patients, their families, and investigators, and recommended approaches to securing informed consent for genetic research.

Trainees may also fulfill the responsible conduct in research requirement by attending the Office of Postgraduate Affairs' 1/2 day Biomedical Ethics Seminar held annually each Spring, the Office of Research Integrity's Biennial Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Education, Instruction, and Training 3 day course, or complete a six-part online training module developed by the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching & Learning (CCNMTL) in collaboration with the Columbia University Center for Bioethics and the Columbia University Office for Responsible Conduct of Research and funded by the Office of Research Integrity, Department of Health and Human Services.

Additionally, trainees are required to review three publications relevant to the responsible conduct of research at Washington University: the Washington University Research Integrity Policy, the Washington University Judicial Code, and “On Being a Scientist”, a pamphlet prepared by the National Academy of Science.