Ethics and the Responsible Conduct
of Research for Graduate Education
and Beyond
Kellina Craig-Henderson, Ph.D.
Program Director
and Human Subjects Research
Protections Officer
4/13/2015
National Science Foundation
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Responsible conduct in the
research enterprise is a shared
responsibility.
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The Belmont Report
Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the
Protection of Human Subjects of Research
45 CFR 690
(same as 45 CFR 46- HHS)
The Common Rule for the protection
of human subjects
(www.bfa/dias/policy/docs/45cfr690.pdf)
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•Respect for Persons
•Beneficence
•Justice
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Respect for persons
This principle has 2 separate moral
requirements:
1.
2.
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Respect individuals’ autonomy.
In the case of diminished
autonomy,consult their legally
authorized representative.
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Beneficence
Two general rules apply here:
1.
2.
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Do not harm!
Maximize possible benefits,
and minimize possible harms.
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Justice
“Who should receive the
benefits of research and bear
its burdens?”





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To each person an equal share.
To each person according to individual need.
To each person according to individual
effort.
To each person according to societal
contribution.
To each person according to merit.
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Responsibility
•The Sponsor
•The Grantee
•The Researcher
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National Science
Foundation
One sponsor’s responsibility
includes:
RCR requirement
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America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote
Excellence in Technology, Education and Science Act: The
America COMPETES Act
Legislative history:
Introduced - May 10, 2007
Passed House - May 22, 2007
Passed Senate – July 19, 2007
Differences resolved – Aug 2, 2007
Signed by President – Aug 9, 2007
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America
COMPETES Act –
SEC. 7009
“The Director shall require that each institution
that applies for financial assistance from the
Foundation for science and engineering research
or education describe in its grant proposal a plan
to provide appropriate training and oversight in the
responsible and ethical conduct of research to
undergraduate students, graduate students, and
postdoctoral researchers participating in the
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proposed research project.”
Responsibility
•The Sponsor
•The Grantee
•The Researcher
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Ethics in Research
Grantee’s responsibility…
•Context-driven
•Environmentdependent
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Empirical study
Martinson et al., 2006 provides support for the
effect of the contexts of science on misconduct:
•
•
•
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Perceptions of procedural injustice are
associated with self reports of
misbehaviors.
This relationship is strongest among earlycareer scientists, those in un-tenurable
positions, female scientists in traditionallymale fields.
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Responsibility
•The Sponsor
•The Grantee
•The Researcher
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Scientists
behaving badly
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Top 10 Misbehaviors





Falsifying or “cooking” research data
Ignoring major aspects of human subjects
requirements
Not properly disclosing involvement in forms
whose products are based on one’s own research
Relationships with students, research subjects or
clients that may be interpreted as questionable
Using another’s ideas without obtaining
permission or giving due credit
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Top 10 misbehaviors cont’d:





Unauthorized use of confidential information in
connection with one’s own research.
Failing to present data that contradict one’s own
previous research.
Circumventing certain minor aspects of HS
requirements (e.g., informed consent).
Overlooking others use of flawed data or
questionable interpretation of data.
Changing the design, methodology or results of
a study in response to pressure from a funding
source.
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Empirical study
De Vries et al., 2006 provides evidence of
everyday misbehaviors among researchers.
•
They conclude that many of these
misbehaviors are “normal misbehaviors.”
•
Must direct attention to the social
conditions, and context that lead to these
unacceptable misbehaviors.
•
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Research misconduct is
not rare
What is considered misconduct varies by
The Sponsor
• The Grantee
• The Researcher
•
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When you observe
potential misconduct,
what should you do?
It depends….
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1. Constructive confrontation
2. Conflict management
3. Grievance processes
4. Whistle-blowing
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Reducing
misconduct in
research starts
with
TRAINING!!!
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Case study 1

A graduate student is conducting a study to find out how
bilingual English-Spanish speaking students navigate bicultural, bilingual identity in a rural high school setting. The
study will take place in small town in Eastern Washington
State that has one high school with approximately 400
students. The research methods include: weekly interviews,
and in-depth classroom observation of four Spanish-English
bilingual 14 – 17 year old students over one academic
year. The researcher will also conduct interviews with
administration, teachers, parents, and other students about
their thoughts on language and local identity. What are
some of ethical issues inherent in the design of this
study? What are some of the ethical issues that might
unfold during the conduct of the study?
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Case 2: Who Owns the
Field Notes?

Jerry Vaughn contracted with a federal agency to conduct a social
impact assessment of proposed topographic changes in an
aboriginal habitat in a far north region of North America. The contract
contained no stipulations regarding ownership of data. In order to
determine the potential impacts on the culture of peoples living in
that region, Vaughn engaged in participant observation (keeping a
detailed field notebook of same); conducted in-depth personal
interviews; and took over 1,000 photographs of people working,
socializing, and enjoying other everyday and special activities.
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Case 3: Professor Purloins
Student's Work: Her Recourse?
Joelle Smith wrote an elaborate research proposal
that was to be submitted to the National Science
Foundation (NSF) for her doctoral dissertation
research. Her dissertation supervisor signed off on
the proposal indicating his support of the project
and his willingness to supervise Smith's work. The
project was funded for a two-year period. Smith went
into the field and at regular intervals sent copies of
her field notes and other written data, along with
preliminary analyses of her field problem, to her
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dissertation
advisor.
For more information, if you are a
researcher please feel free to contact
your Institutional Official (IO), or if you
are an IO or member of the Sponsored
Research Office, please contact your
Funding Agency (i.e., program officer or
human subjects protections officer), or
the Office for Human Research
Protections (OHRP) of HHS.
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Contact Information:
Kellina M. Craig-Henderson, PhD
(703) 292-7023
[email protected]
Social Psychology program
National Sceince Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd., 995.45
Arlington, VA 22230
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