Duke University has elevated its commitment to scientific integrity with new mandatory research training for faculty and staff, new educational opportunities, and the announcement of new leadership roles.
Many of these initiatives fall under the purview of the Office of Scientific Integrity (DOSI), created in 2018. The office, under the leadership of Geeta Swamy, MD, associate vice president for research for Duke University and vice dean for scientific integrity for the School of Medicine, has implemented a Responsible Conduct of Research Training Program for faculty and staff; it will soon launch a similar program for research administrators.
The office also oversees the development and implementation of Science Culture and Accountability Plans required of all departments in the School of Medicine and has overseen the launch of new data management documentation and review tools and processes.
Research Town Hall meetings, which feature timely and engaging discussions related to scientific integrity, are hosted by DOSI and held monthly, drawing hundreds. In September 2019, the Town Hall brought to Penn Pavilion 250 people interested in solutions to address the challenges of managing research data. In October, the town hall discussion focused on successful mentor-mentee relationships.
DOSI recently hosted a symposium on Combatting Bullying in the Workplace, featuring keynote speaker Leah Hollis, EDD, an associate professor at Morgan State University and author of the book “Bully in the Ivory Tower: How Aggression and Incivility Erode American Higher Education.”
“As a leader in biomedical research and training, we have an ethical responsibility to prevent bullying of any kind,” said Swamy. “If we expect Duke faculty, trainees, students, and staff to thrive and serve as leaders in clinical care and biomedical research, we owe it to them to provide a safe, supportive learning and work environment. Open discussions like today’s event help us to get one step closer to achieving that.”
The Town Hall series, along with the mandatory training, and implementation of new tools are led by a team of university leaders in newly expanded roles.
Swamy works closely with Larry Carin, PhD, who was named vice president for research at Duke University in April 2019 and leads the new university-wide Office of Research. Swamy’s role was expanded at that same time. She previously served as associate vice provost for scientific integrity. She now oversees all clinical and research quality management programs.
Carin is a Duke engineering professor and one of the world’s leading experts on machine learning and artificial intelligence. He previously served as vice provost for research at Duke University and continues his role of leading research strategy and development. In his new role, he also oversees university-wide responsibility for research policy, coordination with federal research sponsors, compliance, scientific integrity and technology transfer.
Christopher Freel, PhD, serves as associate vice president and principal deputy and directs various programmatic units for Duke University. He previously served as associate vice provost for research.