At Albert Einstein College of Medicine, education in the responsible conduct of research is mandatory for all graduate students, M.D./Ph.D. [MSTP] students and postdoctoral fellows, and the multi-week course, which fulfills the NIH mandated training requirement, is offered each year in the Spring Semester.
The course format involves weekly two hour lectures followed by small group, case-based discussions, which focus on the topic of the weekly lecture. Each small group includes faculty members and a mix of 10 to 15 Ph.D. students, MSTP students and postdoctoral fellows. The course follows the textbook "ORI Introduction to the responsible Conduct of Research" by Nicholas H. Steneck (Department of Health & Human Services) which features case studies, text-box inserts, discussion questions and electronic and printed resources. The text is available online as a PDF document (http://ori.hhs.gov/documents/rcrintro.pdf). The weekly topics include:
- conflict of interest — personal, professional, and financial;
- policies regarding human subjects, live vertebrate animal subjects in research, and safe laboratory practices;
- mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships;
- collaborative research including collaborations with industry;
- peer review including publications and grant reviews;
- data acquisition and laboratory tools; management, sharing and ownership;
- research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct;
- responsible authorship and publication; avoiding questionable writing practices; plagiarism; and
- the scientist as a responsible member of society, contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research and the environmental and societal impacts of scientific research.