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 2021 will include:

  • Choosing a mentor/lab
  • Communication styles and establishing expectations and goals for graduate school
  • Best practices in data acquisition, record keeping, and transparency
  • Blinding and randomization
  • Experimental design, sample size, and consideration of biological variables
  • Socially responsible science
  • Implicit bias, cherry-picking data, and best practices in data acquisition and analysis
  • Reproducible science and scientific misconduct