BIOTRAIN is a collection of Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and other preparatory courses specifically designed to build essential skills and knowledge for graduate students in the biomedical sciences throughout their PhD track.
An overview of the RCR course track and requirements can be found here.
Course descriptions and syllabi for each BIOTRAIN course
Introduction to RCR Concepts
BIOTRAIN 750 is an orientation and introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) at Duke. This half-day event to be held on Friday, August 20, 2021 is required for all incoming first-year students in SoM PhD programs. Presenters will include the Associate Dean for Research training, the Assistant Director of Trainee Development, faculty and students from SoM graduate training programs and departments, and the Assistant Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Diversity and Inclusion. Students will be introduced to the OBGE Peer Mentors and learn more about community building through Gateway Groups. Students should not register for this course in DukeHub.
The course is a requirement for graduation and confers 4 hours of Responsible Conduct in Research credit. Slots are guaranteed only for first year graduate students in programs in the School of Medicine, including interdisciplinary programs. Eligible students will receive an email with a registration link in early August.
Orientation and Introduction to RCR Concepts
Friday, August 20, 2021
Great Hall, Trent Semans Center
Lunch will be provided.
Session topics for 2021 will include:
- Graduate School: Expectations, Professionalism, and Resources for Students
- A Whole You: Integrating Well-being, Coaching, and Professional Development into Your Graduate Training
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Cultural Awareness at Duke
- The Skeptical Scientist: Identifying Bias
If you are unable to attend this forum in person, a recording of the event will be available. Please contact Erika Crosby to receive access to this recording.
Questions about this year's forum can be directed here.
Foundations of Professionalism for Biomedical Scientists
This course equips first-year School of Medicine (SoM) biomedical PhD students with professionalism skills, including but not limited to stress management, effective communication, giving/receiving feedback, and mentor-mentee relationships. The course is team-taught by National Research Mentoring Curriculum-trained faculty members and Leadership and Management in Action Program-trained PhD students from diverse SoM PhD programs. Content includes interactive lectures that provide fundamental knowledge of key professional skills, and small group active learning sessions (Gateway Groups) during which students discuss and practice professionalism skills and receive feedback from faculty mentors, peer mentors, and peers. Course is available to SoM biomedical PhD students. Total RCR credit: 4 hours
Session topics for 2021:
- CliftonStrengths assessment and overview
- Characterizing stress and mental health in Duke biomedical graduate students
- The art of finding strong and diverse mentors
- Mentorability: How to be an effective mentee
- Conflict resolution and difficult conversations
- Building time management skills
- Cultural awareness and diversity in science
Grant Writing for Biomedical Scientists
Introduction to scientific grant writing for second- or third-year PhD students. This course contains lecture-based and active learning sessions. Content includes lectures combined with class discussions on grant agencies, format and structure of grant applications, concepts in peer review, best practices in articulating study design and data outcomes, rigor and reproducibility in a research plan, and crafting biological significance and training statements. Students write an NIH-style proposal and actively participate in topical study sections, typically comprising ~12 students and a faculty study section chair. Students receive oral and written critiques of their proposals from a Duke guest faculty reviewer and two peer study section members. This course introduces students to writing, critiquing, and submitting fellowships, while also preparing them for writing their preliminary exam document. Open only to second- or third-year students in School of Medicine biomedical PhD programs.
Data Visualization for Biomedical Sciences
Display of quantitative data is central to relaying results in scientific manuscripts, talks, and other visual communications. Learning to manage, display, communicate scientific results effectively and ethically is an important component of professional development for all scientists. This course will offer conceptual and hands-on training in data visualization for biomedical scientists, combining principles of graphic design with a deep dive into the Adobe suite of tools. In addition to using "out of the box" tools, the course will fully integrate coding in R and rigor and reproducibility best practices. Open only to students in School of Medicine PhD programs.
The Responsible Scientist I
This course offered in the Spring semester, and required for all 1st year students (Fall ‘20 matriculants or later), utilizes online lectures/modules, in-person lectures and small group discussions, and focuses on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and Rigor & Reproducibility (R&R) topics for early-stage graduate students. Each topic is accompanied by a short assessment to evaluate learning mastery. Small group sessions centered on expanding the online/lecture material through discussion questions and case studies build community and encourage continual embedded dialogue about best practices in RCR and R&R. Small groups are led by faculty representing each of the PhD training programs and departments, with teaching assistance from senior graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Total RCR credit: 4 hours
Session topics for 2022 will include:
- IACUC protocol submission/compliance at Duke, and responsible research with animals
- Data management and record keeping
- Statistical considerations for experimental design and variables
- Writing a scientific paper: determining authorship order and deciding where/how to publish
- Cell line authentication and socially responsible science
- Questionable research practices
- Responsible authorship, publication and peer review
- Implicit bias, cherry-picking data, and best practices in data acquisition and analysis
- Research misconduct case studies
Data Management and Quality for Biomedical PhD Students
Data Management and Quality for Biomedical PhD Students is offered via Duke LMS (Learning Management System). In Years 2 and 3, PhD students in the School of Medicine are required to take this course comprised of 3 online interactive modules. Each module is accompanied by an assessment. This course is presented with interactive graphics, text-based activities, short videos, and discipline specific scenarios. This course is required for all biomedical PhD students in year 2 or 3. Data Management and Quality for Biomedical PhD Students includes 3 modules:
- Research Quality and Reproducibility
- Data Management
- Data and Resource Sharing
To enroll in and complete this course, please follow this link to the LMS system. Note, these modules cannot be accessed using Internet Explorer.
Contact us if you have questions about registering for or completing this requirement.
The Responsible Scientist II
This course offered in the Spring semester, and required for all 4th year students, utilizes online lectures/modules, in-person lectures, and small group discussions, and focuses on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and Rigor & Reproducibility (R&R) topics for advanced graduate students. Each topic is accompanied by a short assessment to evaluate learning mastery. Small group sessions centered on expanding the online/lecture material through discussion questions and case studies build community and encourage continual embedded dialogue about best practices in RCR and R&R. Small groups are led by faculty representing each of the PhD training programs and departments. Total RCR credit: 4 hours
Session topics for 2022 include:
- Diversity, inclusion and representation in science
- Perverse incentives in academia and their unintended consequences
- Social responsibility
- Developing your leadership style and professional identity
- Human subject research: consent and ethical data usage/sharing
- Data sharing and management plans
- Leadership Style
The Responsible Scientist Teaching Assistant / Peer Mentor
School of Medicine PhD students in years 4+ may earn BIOTRAIN 755 credit (replacing one of two required RCR Forums) by serving as a teaching assistant in BIOTRAIN 751: The Responsible Scientist I.
School of Medicine PhD students in years 3+ may earn up to two semesters of BIOTRAIN 755 credit (replacing up to two of two required RCR Forums) by serving as an OBGE Graduate Student Peer Mentor over the course of one academic year, including participation in BIOTRAIN 701: Foundations in Professionalism.