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ODU RECEIVES GRANT TO CONTINUE ETHICS TRAINING FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Old Dominion University has received a grant from the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue a program that promotes training in research ethics for graduate students.

CGS, which received funds for the project from NSF, made grants to eight institutions from among the 28 submitting proposals. "The excellence of your proposal is testimony to the commitment that you and your institution have made to research integrity," CGS officials wrote in their letter to Philip Langlais, ODU's vice provost for graduate studies and research, announcing the grant in mid-September.

Two years ago, ODU was one of 10 universities nationwide to receive a grant from the private CGS and the federal Office of Research Integrity to begin work on ethics training programs for graduate students. Langlais has led that effort as head of the ODU task force on ethical and responsible conduct of research, scholarship and professional activities.

The task force has done research at ODU to gauge student and faculty perceptions and skills regarding ethical decision-making and to frame a general plan for the ethics training that is needed.

Langlais has been invited to several major conferences to present this recent ethics research at ODU. In addition, he wrote a commentary article advocating ethics training for graduate students, which appeared in January in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

"The latest NSF/CGS award of $15,000 is another recognition of ODU's leadership in this important area," Langlais said.

Paul Tate, director of the Responsible Conduct of Research initiative at CGS, said, "These new projects will build upon what we have learned from the experiences of institutions in our first round of funding. We learned, for example, that students need both general background in ethics and responsible behavior and specialized training in the standards of their own disciplines."

The long-term goal of the initiative is to establish ethics education as a regular feature of graduate education in all disciplines.

The seven other institutions receiving the awards are: Bradley University, Brown University, Rockhurst University in Kansas City, University of Alabama - Birmingham, University of Kansas, University of Nebraska and University of Oklahoma.

Awardees were selected through a competitive process, based on the institutions' capability to develop and implement interdisciplinary interventions to advance broad-based ethics training for graduate students. Each university's program will be designed to give students the ethical sensitivity, reasoning skills and conceptual tools needed to resolve unexpected problems in the conduct of research.

This article was posted on: September 18, 2006

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