Responsible Conduct of Research and Related Policy Issues

​A Discussion of Scientific Research Ethics for Students, Post-doctoral Scientists and Fellows, and other Junior Investigators at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center

This course explores a variety of ethical and policy issues that arise during the conduct of basic, translational, epidemiological, and clinical biomedical research. The course's philosophy is to facilitate and encourage students to engage with Columbia faculty members who can speak from their own experience on ethical questions that can arise during the conduct of scientific research.

Class presenters include Chairs of Institutional Review Boards, the Director of the Institute of Comparative Medicine, as well as faculty who are directly involved with these issues. The goal of the course is to provide students, post-doctoral scientists and fellows, junior faculty, and other investigators with a knowledge base as well as practical advice on ethical and policy issues.

Topics addressed include:

  • Research misconduct, as well as policies and procedures for addressing
  • Mentee-mentor relationship
  • Authorship practices and scientific publications
  • Research involving human participants/subjects
  • Data acquisition, ownership, sharing, management, and reproducibility
  • Use of laboratory animals in scientific research
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Peer review
  • Intellectual property and technology transfer
  • The role of scientists in society
  • Collaborative research
  • Partnerships with industry
  • The scientific method
  • Strategies for a successful research career
  • Conflict of commitment
  • Safe research environment
  • Promoting inclusive excellence in STEM

Course sessions include lectures, class discussion, and case studies. 

Graduate level - Course number: G4010, Call number: 18691, given yearly in the Spring term; One point/credit; Pass/Fail, grade determined by attendance, class participation, and a required essay. There are eleven 1-hour sessions per term.

This course is sponsored by the VP&S Office of Graduate Affairs.    

Location and Time

All sessions are scheduled for Fridays, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM.

All e-mail correspondence (e.g., scheduling updates) will be distributed via CourseWorks. Formally registered students should automatically have access to the course in CourseWorks. Those auditing should contact Dr. Yinghui Mao ( requesting access.

Sessions will be held in the Vagelos Education Center (VEC) Room 401.




Jan 26, 2024


Dr. Arthur Palmer

Feb 2, 2024

Responsible Conduct of Research - What Is It?

Dr. Jaime Rubin

Feb 9, 2024

Responsible Conduct of Research - Federal and Columbia Resources

 Office of Research Compliance and Training

Feb 16, 2024

Humane and Responsible Use of Laboratory Animals in Scientific Research

Dr. Brian Karolewski

Dr. Jyoti Kaushal

Feb 23, 2024

Research with Human Subjects/Participants

Ms. Brenda Ruotolo

Mar 1, 2024

Data Management, Sharing, and Reproducibility

Dr. Peter Sims

Mar 8, 2024

Authorship & Publication

Dr. Jaime Rubin

Mar 22, 2024

Conflict of Interest

Office of Research Compliance and Training

Mar 29, 2024

Science at a Crossroads: Time for Reform

Dr. Arturo Casadevall
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University

April 5, 2024

 Research with Industry Partners/Intellectual Property/Technology Transfer

Joan José Martínez, PhD

Technology Licensing Officer, Columbia Technology Ventures

April 12, 2024

Successful Approaches for Promoting Inclusive Excellence in STEM

Dr. Michael Summers

University of Maryland, Baltimore County



Dr. Arthur G. Palmer III
Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs
Robert Wood Johnson Jr. Professor
Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics
Tel: 212 305-8675


Macrina, Francis L. Scientific Integrity: Text and Cases in Responsible Conduct of Research, 4th ed. ASM Press, 2014. Paperback. $65.00. ISBN 978-1555816612. Additional resource material (e.g., case studies) for each session will be distributed in class or via Courseworks


This course attracts class participants from diverse educational and research training programs. Directors of these research training programs and/or research Mentors decide on the didactic training of their trainees/mentees.

Columbia University faculty, post-doctorate fellows/scientists, students, and staff are welcome to audit the course. Those wishing documentation of successfully completing all course requirements should formally register. The Columbia University transcript serves as this documentation. No other documentation will be provided.  Class participants should clarify with their individual research training Program Director or research Mentor on whether they are required to obtain documentation on successfully completing all course requirements (e.g., attendance, essay). The Course Directors are unable to make this determination for class participants [e.g., those supported by NIH training grants (T’s), individual fellowships (F’s), or career development awards (K’s)]. Directors and Mentors of these pre-doctoral, postdoctoral, and junior faculty research training programs may wish to augment the course with additional requirements, including small group discussion sessions, or provide "refresher" training involving individual training program faculty. This course may not be taken twice (whether registered or auditing); i.e., it may not be taken initially and then subsequently years later as a "refresher".

Class participants who are already enrolled in a Columbia University degree granting program should register for "Responsible Conduct of Research and Related Policy Issues" (G4010) similar to their other Spring term classes. All others should contact:

Dr. Yinghui Mao
Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs


Session 1: Mentorship

AAMC's Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and Their Mentors
AAMC's Compact Between Biomedical Graduate Students and Their Research Advisors
CU's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences' Policies and Resources

NASEM: The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM

Suggested text: Macrina, F.L. Scientific Integrity. Chapter 3.
Hill, Linda. Becoming a Manager: How New Managers Master the Challenges of Leadership, 2nd ed. Harvard Business Review Press, 2003. ISBN-13: 978-1591391821.

Session 2 & 3: Responsible Conduct of Research: What Is It?

Session 4: Humane and Responsible Use of Laboratory - Animals in Scientific Research

Sessions 5: Research with Human Subjects/Participants

Suggested text: Macrina, F.L. Scientific Integrity. Chapter 5.

CUIMC Institutional Review Board and Human Research Protection Program, including links to ethical principles, government regulations, and policies and guidances

The Belmont Report - Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research (National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research).

Session 6: Data Management and Sharing/Reproducibility

Suggested text: Macrina, F.L. Scientific Integrity. Chapters 9. and 11

Session 7: Authorship, Publications, and Peer Review

Suggested text: Macrina, F.L. Scientific Integrity. Chapter 4.

Session 8: Science at a Crossroads: Time for Reform?

Suggested text: Macrina, F.L. Scientific Integrity. Chapter 11.

Broderick NA, Casadevall A. Gender inequalities among authors who contributed equally. Elife. 2019 Jan 29;8. pii: e36399. doi: 10.7554/eLife.36399.

Session 9: Research with Industry Partners/Intellectual Property/Technology Transfer/Conflict of Interest

Suggested text: Macrina, F.L. Scientific Integrity. Chapters 7., 8., and 9.

Columbia University Policies and Resources

Stevens AJ. The enactment of Bayh-Dole. Journal of Technology Transfer. 2004. 29(1), 93-99. Full text of article

Stolberg SG. Financial ties in biomedicine get close look. NY Times. Feb 20, 2000. Full text of article

Gillis J and Schwartz J. Deeper ties to corporate cash for doubtful climate researcher. NY Times. Feb 21, 2015. Full text of article

Gillis J. Climate change researcher offers a defense of his practices. NY Times. Mar 2, 2015. Full text of article

Session : Strategies for a Successful Research Career

Landry DW, Zucker HA. Embryonic death and the creation of human embryonic stem cells. J Clin Invest. 2004 Nov;114(9):1184-6. Full text of article

Landry DW, Oliver JA. Insights into shock. Sci Am. 2004 Feb;290(2):36-41.

Landry DW, Oliver JA. The pathogenesis of vasodilatory shock. N Engl J Med. 2001 Aug 23;345(8):588-95. Full text of article

Landry DW. Immunotherapy for cocaine addiction. Sci Am. 1997 Feb;276(2):42-5.

Landry DW, Levin HR, Gallant EM, Ashton RC Jr, Seo S, D'Alessandro D, Oz MC, Oliver JA. Vasopressin deficiency contributes to the vasodilation of septic shock. Circulation. 1997 Mar 4;95(5):1122-5. Full text of article

Landry DW, Zhao K, Yang GX, Glickman M, Georgiadis TM. Antibody-catalyzed degradation of cocaine. Science. 1993 Mar 26;259(5103):1899-901. Full text of article