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Essential Training

Ethical Challenges of Research Program

The purpose of this program is to discuss what the responsible conduct of research involves. The program is comprised of two parts: an introduction session offered every month and special topics offered every other month. The introductory session and special topics use a combination of small and large group discussions to foster effective communication and resolve problems.

Register for Introduction session now

Contemporary researchers face a variety of challenges, such as reduced federal funding, increasing publication pressures, controversies over conflicts of interest, high profile suspensions of clinical trials, and growing public scrutiny of research methods and outcomes. Success in research and professional development requires awareness of these challenges. It also requires skill in managing them and excellent communication. While professional codes of conduct and principles of responsible conduct of research offer some guidance, they may leave trainees unclear how to proceed in real world disputes or “gray areas.” To address these concerns, the UC San Diego Research Ethics Program and the Office of Postdoctoral and Research Scholar Affairs have collaborated to bring UC San Diego postdoctoral scholars the Ethical Challenges of Research Program. The purpose of this program is to discuss what the responsible conduct of research involves.  The program is comprised of two parts: an introduction session offered every month and special topics offered every other month.  The introductory session and special topics use a combination of small and large group discussions to foster effective communication and resolve problems.

Completion of the introduction session with three additional special topic sessions (2 hours each) in the Ethical Challenges series OR the Scientific Ethics course offered through the campus Research Ethics Program (ethics.ucsd.edu) will result in a certificate of training, which may be necessary for various postdoctoral funding sources, such as by NIH training and career development awards or NSF.

Postdoctoral scholars are strongly encouraged to complete the certification as part of their research training and education.

2021 Introduction Session Schedule

Register:  ECR: Intro

2021 Special Topic Session Schedule

  • Instructor: Michael Kalichman, Ph.D., Director, Research Ethics Program
  • Course offered from 12-2 pm the second Wednesday of every other month, starting in February 2021 (Sessions to be held via Zoom through June 2021).
  • All sessions will be held in Student Services Center, room 400 unless otherwise indicated.

Social Responsibility

In the face of the recent corona virus pandemic it has become unquestionably clear that scientific endeavors are inextricably linked to public perceptions, understandings, and experience. However, the compelling need to bridge the chasm between scientists and non-scientists is tempered by the sense that scientists should stick to what they do best: the science. The purpose of this session will be to examine these challenges and sort through the roles we can and should pursue for engaging the public.

February 10, 2021 via ZOOM

Register: ECRST: Social Responsibility

Authorship: Expectations and Collaborations

Science is inevitably a collaborative enterprise. As investigators tackle larger and more complex problems, research teams have grown increasingly inter-disciplinary, involving experts with varying backgrounds and sometimes-competing expectations. Collaborations involving multiple labs and/or institutions in different countries exacerbate the challenges of effective cooperation. Even collaborators within a given lab often confront thorny issues when it comes to assigning fair credit and authorship. This workshop aims to engage participants in identifying and analyzing problems in scientific collaboration. The ultimate end involves developing effective strategies for managing (or avoiding!) conflicts. This is an interactive workshop using case studies and participant experiences.

April 14, 2021 via ZOOM 

Register: ECRST: Authorship

Whistleblowing

One of our most stressful roles is the challenge of saying something when we have reason to believe that a colleague has done something wrong. Being a whistleblower is almost never easy. How do we decide when to say something, what should we say, and to whom? And can we do so without derailing our relationships and career? While there are no guarantees, the purpose of this session will be to identify strategies and resources that will minimize the risks you encounter.

June 9, 2021 via ZOOM

Register: ECRST: Whistleblowing

Dates and location are subject to change.

Subscribe to the Postdoc listserv to be sent more information and how to register for these and all upcoming events. UCSD email address required for subscription.