UAB among best at teaching research integrity at grad school level

UAB was one of only six universities tapped by the Council of Graduate Schools to study its practices.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is among six prestigious institutions whose best practices in the teaching of research integrity at the graduate school level are considered a model for universities across the country.

integrity_sUAB participated in The Project for Scholarly Integrity, a multi-year Council of Graduate Schools initiative supported by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity. The data, recently published in Research and Scholarly Integrity in Graduate Education, highlights the need for a more comprehensive approach to teaching research integrity in graduate education.

“This information assures the public that research at UAB is performed to the highest ethical standards, to protect our health and safety,” says Jeffrey Engler, Ph.D., associate dean for Academic Affairs in the UAB Graduate School and co-principal investigator for the project.

The Council of Graduate Schools is an organization of more than 500 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada engaged in graduate education, research and the preparation of candidates for advanced degrees. Through the project, CGS worked collaboratively with UAB, Columbia University, Emory University, Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Arizona.

The Council of Graduate Schools is an organization of more than 500 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada engaged in graduate education, research and the preparation of candidates for advanced degrees. Through the project, CGS worked collaboratively with UAB, Columbia University, Emory University, Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Arizona.

In each, the graduate school led the development of model programs by coordinating campus activities, assessing current policies and practices and engaging the community in enhancing programs and resources for graduate students. An additional 13 institutions participated in the project as affiliates.

“I believe the strategies and practices described in this publication will help graduate deans and others looking for practical models for initiating new or improving existing Responsible Conduct of Research programs,” says Debra Stewart, CGS president. 

A unique feature of The Project for Scholarly Integrity was the common assessment of two aspects of graduate students’ educational and research environments. Graduate schools surveyed programs to learn the ways students accessed instruction in the responsible conduct of research before participating in the project and then used this information to inform project activities.

Through a version of a national organizational climate survey, they also surveyed students and faculty about their perceptions concerning fairness, the adequacy of policies and resources and their degree of confidence in handling situations involving ethical misconduct or misbehavior. Data from these surveys are accessible through a companion online, interactive tool: the PSI Data Dashboard.

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