Research Ethics Training

All trainees funded by or otherwise participating in the Research Training Program in Sleep, Circadian and Respiratory Neurobiology are expected to complete training in research ethics in their first year of training. This training must be offered through Harvard or one of the Harvard-affiliated Hospitals.

To fulfill this requirement all trainees must do the following in the first year of training:

  1. Take the 4 hour Partners RCR Seminar, which is offered about 3 times per year through Partners affiliated hospitals.
  2. Complete the online CITI Training.
  3. Complete 4 additional hours of Research Ethics Training with a live instructor.
  4. Submit all certificates of completion including the RCR attestation form to the Program Coordinator.

Following is a list of previously-approved courses that fulfill this requirement. Other courses can be substituted with approval from the trainee's faculty mentor and Academic Advisor. Documentation of course completion must be filed with the program administrator.

Courses in Research Ethics
Partners Program in the Responsible Conduct of Research
The partners RCR program fulfills the Research Ethics Training Requirement and consists of 3 parts: a 4-hour seminar offered at BWH and MGH several times a year; the online CITI training; and participation in no less than four lecture/discussion offerings identified as eligible for RCR credit. It is designed to fulfill the NIH ethics-training requirement for all pre-doctoral and post doctoral National Research Service Award trainees receiving support from an individual or institutional grant, Fellowship, or Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award. To register, contact Jennifer Ballard, Partners Research Management, at jballard@partners.org or (617) 724-5536.
See the course description below for more information or click here.

Registration opportunities for these courses may be announced via the calendar on this website. (The online CITI course alone does not satisfy this program requirement.)

Please note: Harvard Medical School also requires all investigators (including trainees) carrying out animal research to attend a course in humane treatment of animals in research offered annually.

In addition to courses which fulfill the requirements of this program, there are many other excellent courses that trainees may wish to take on this subject. The following examples may also be found on the Other Recommended Courses and Activities page.

Other courses in research ethics
Data Fabrication and Falsification: How to Avoid, Detect, Evaluate and Report
This course offered by the NIH Office of Research Integrity, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, and Harvard Teaching Hospitals. This 2-day course focused on an in-depth review of a case handled by the ORI, "whistle-blowing", and discussions of data management and integrity issues.
Annual Harvard Bioethics Course
This course offered by the Harvard Medical School Division of Medical Ethics. An intensive 2-day course is offered in June and September each year for faculty, trainees, and staff of Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals.
Annual Conference on Ethics and Health
Course offered by the Harvard University Program in Ethics and Health. This annual 2-day conference is on a topic related to ethics, medical care, medical research, and/or public health. The 2007 conference (April 27-28) topic was "Whose responsibility is the health of populations?", and included the topics: A history of responsibility for health; What role for responsibility for health in a just society?; Should healthcare be conditional on prudent behavior?; and Responsibility for Health as a Condition of Access to Care: the West Virginia Medicaid Member Agreement.
Brigham & Women's Hospital Office of Post-Doctoral Careers workshops
Workshops focused on ethical issues in research are offered several times per year as part of this monthly series. Recent topics have included: Conflicts of Interest in Clinical Research (taught by Nikki Zapol, an attorney in the Partners HealthCare System Office of General Counsel); Research Ethics through Research Compliance: It's a Matter of Public Trust (taught by Gretchen Brodnicki, JD, Partners HealthCare System Director of Research Compliance); Case Studies: Postdoc Issues, Research Ethics and Authorship Questions (taught by Barbara Bierer, MD, Senior Vice President of Research, BWH).


Related Links
Academic Requirements (overview of courses)
Other Required Activities
Other Recommended Courses and Activities
Certificate Program requirements
Course Registration Deadlines (calendar)



Partners Program in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Partners Responsible Conduct of Research Program is designed to fulfill the NIH ethics-training requirement for all pre-doctoral and post doctoral National Research Service Award trainees receiving support from an individual or institutional grant, Fellowship, or Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award. The program is case study based and will be taught and facilitated by faculty from both MGH and BWH. It is anticipated that through this training, investigators beginning their research careers will be sensitized to the pressures they may possibly confront and be informed of proper procedures to address these situations. This course also now qualifies for 3.5 Category 1 CME in risk management study.


Ethics Program in the Practice of Scientific Investigation

The Harvard Program in the Practice of Scientific Investigation, using a case-based approach, is comprised of a series of conferences focusing on topics such as responsible approaches to data management, mentor and peer relationships, responsible authorship, secrecy, and recognition/reporting of conflicts of interest. The syllabus includes cases for discussion, pertinent background reading, and relevant policies of Harvard Medical School. This course fulfills NIH requirements for research trainees.

In addition to this organized program for discussion of ethical conduct in research, Harvard Medical School requires all investigators carrying out animal research, as well as trainees, to attend a course in humane treatment of animals in research offered yearly.

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