Research Ethics Training and Education

UNI encourages all faculty, staff, and students involved in research to obtain training in how to maintain the highest standards of research integrity.  There are a variety of approaches available to identifying training and educational opportunities in this area.  Most research courses at UNI incorporate various aspects of ethics training in their curricula, and special courses devoted to the study of ethics are offered through certain departments which may include studies specific to research ethics.  Special workshops and seminars are offered periodically at UNI as well, for faculty, staff, and/or students, through the various colleges or other units. 

Conferences and Workshops

Ethics in Scholarship for Undergraduates - Register here

Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 1:00-4:15 pm, University Room, Maucker Union
This workshop will address key ethical issues involved in academic scholarship and research, such as maintaining integrity in authorship and data interpretation.  The workshop will include brief presentations and interactive discussion.  This session will help to satisfy the requirements for research ethics training for students employed on NSF and NIH projects.  Certificates of attendance will be provided.  Sponsored by the Center for Academic Ethics and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.  Refreshments will be provided.    REGISTRATION is required.  Contact for information.

Conference on Ethics in Higher Education - Save the Date!

Ethics in Practice: Building a Classroom and Campus Culture for Academic Integrity

Th & Fri, September 17-18, 2015, UNI campus, Maucker Union.  Keynote speaker will be James Lang, Professor of English and Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College, and author of the 2013 book, "Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty".  Call for Presentations and Registration are Open!!



Ethics, Integrity and Civility in Higher Education: New Approaches to Foster a Culture of Trust

This event has been postponed.  Faculty, staff and administrators are invited to attend this conference September 4-5, 2014, at Iowa State University. This conference is free and features breakout sessions and discussion panels. Anyone interested in academic freedom, shared governance, free speech, teaching, research and relationships among faculty, staff and administrators should plan to attend. The keynote speaker is Neil Hamilton, director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions and author of Academic Ethics: Problems and Materials on Professional Conduct and Shared Governance. For more information, download the informational flyer or contact Nancy Cobb or Anita Gordon at UNI or Mack Shelley at ISU.

2014 Ethics in Scholarship for Graduate Students

The 2014 workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 22, 1:00-4:00 pm, University Room, Maucker Union.  This year, the event is being co-sponsored by the UNI Center for Academic Ethics, RSP, and the Graduate College.  Planning is underway for the workshop.  If interested in getting involved, contact Kavita Dhanwada.  Registration is now open at 

2014 Conference on Medical Ethics: Cases that Keep Us Up at Night

This conference is scheduled for September 24, 2014, at Allen College Campus from noon to 4:45 p.m. You can download the flyer, agenda and registration materials or register online. Topics include discussions on distress, patient advocacy, ethical values and conflicts. Deadline for registration is September 15, 2014.

2013 Ethics in Scholarship for Graduate Students

The 2013 workshop was held Tuesday, October 29th, 1:00-4:00 pm, in Maucker Union Ballroom C.

2012 Ethics in Scholarship for Graduate Students

The 2012 workshop was not taped because the session was very similar to the 2011 workshop. However, the Topic 1 powerpoint was updated. See: Topic I: Intellectual Property by Francis Degnin and Helen Harton.

2011 Ethics in Scholarship for Graduate Students

This is a videotape of a workshop held at UNI on October 3, 2011.  Two topics were covered:  1) Ownership of Intellectual and Creative Works, including plagiarism; and 2) Mentoring Relationships.  Each topic was addressed through four activities:  a) a 20-minute presentation by Dr. Helen Harton on the topic; b) role play/skit by “Half-Masted”, a local student improv acting group, led by Dr. Doug Shaw, followed by audience questions put to the actors; c) small group discussion at each table facilitated by a designated faculty or staff member, d) large group discussion facilitated by workshop facilitator Dr. Amy Petersen.  Drs. Lauren Nelson, Brenda Bass, and Kristin Mack, while not in the forefront on the video, were also instrumental in putting together the workshop.  The video is about 2 hours long, with approximately half devoted to each topic.  The agenda and materials for the workshop are posted below. 

Workshop Video - 2011 Ethics in Scholarship for Graduate Students

Workshop agenda

Topic 1 Powerpoint slides (See link to updated 2012 powerpoint below)

Topic 1 Role play materials, including sample discussion questions*

Topic 2 Powerpoint slides

Topic 2 Role play materials, including sample discussion questions*

General handout on academic and research ethics resources

*Please note that the role plays outlined in the written materials are not exactly the same as the those portrayed by the improvisational actors.

Faculty showing this in class may find it helpful to pause the video when the small group discussions ensue, in order to allow for in-class discussion of the topic.  (Only 2 minutes of small group discussion time for each topic are shown on the video.) 

Online Resources

There are also a variety of resources available online.  A comprehensive compilation of articles, tutorials, and instructional resources related to Research Ethics is available at

CITI Program in Research Ethics

One resource for training in research integrity and research misconduct for faculty, staff, and students is the online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), based at the University of Miami.  This program offers online tutorial courses that can be accessed by anyone who lists UNI as their institutional affiliation on the CITI Training Program log-in page.  Courses are available in the following areas:

  1. Human Participant Protection - By completing the Protection of Human Research Subjects training course, researchers learn about issues in research with human participants. Four Basic Courses are available through UNI in the Protection of Human Research Subjects: Biomedical Focus, Social and Behavioral Focus, IRB Members Course and Other Groups.
  2. Animal Care and Use - This module meets the federal (USDA, OLAW) requirements for basic training in the humane care and use of animals in research and teaching.
  3. Responsible Conduct of Research -This training includes discipline specific courses in Biomedical, Social & Behavioral Research, Physical Sciences, Humanities, Engineers, and for Administrators. RCR topics covered in this module include Research Misconduct, Data Management, Conflict of Interest, Collaborative Science, Responsible Authorship, Mentoring, Peer Review, LabAnimals, and Human Subjects.
  4. Export Controls - After completing this module the learner should be able to: 1. Describe the three major sets of regulations that regulate the export of materials, technology, technical data, and software from the United States. 2. Define and use key terms and concepts critical to understanding U.S. export regulations. 3. Understand why it is important for researchers in U.S. institutions of higher education to have a core knowledge of U.S. export regulations. 
  5. Conflicts of Interest - This training may be taken by anyone at UNI, but is targeted towards those involved in research projects that are funded by U.S. Public Health Service (NIH, AHQR, DHHS).
CITI Instructions
CITI Training Program Link

Requirements for Ethics Training on NSF Grants

The CITI program in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is required for students and post-doctoral researchers employed on NSF grants.  More information about this requirement is available at Requirements for Ethics Training on NSF Grants.

Requirements for Training on NIH Grants

The National Institute of Health requires that all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and dissertation research grant must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research. Pertinent regulations are outlined in NOT-OD-10-019. Please contact Anita Gordon for further information on UNI requirements regarding Ethics Training for researchers on NIH Grants.

Human Participants/IRB

There are a variety of options, including the CITI tutorial on Human Subjects, for training specific to research with human participants.  Visit the IRB Training page for further information on campus workshops and online training options in Human Subjects Protections. 

Conflicts of Interest

CITI also offers an entire course about conflicts of interest, which is required for those employed on research projects funded by the Public Health Service. Visit the Conflicts of Interest webpage for further information.