Program Description

A quintessential component of graduate biomedical sciences is the education and training in scientific research integrity. As bioethical issues have increasingly surfaced in the biomedical sciences, federal agencies have assisted institutions in the implementation of policies and guidelines to assure the ethical conduct of research. The UPR School of Medicine and its Division of Graduate Biomedical Sciences have traditionally used as a template the NIH’s Office for Research Integrity (ORI)-defined fundamental instructional areas for education and training in the Responsible conduct of Research (RCR).

Yet, other ethical and important areas are addressed as well. To further underscore the institutional commitment with scientific research integrity, the division’s efforts in collaboration with NIH-sponsored programs such as the MBRS RISE and SCORE Programs, have been coalesced into an official Responsible Conduct in Research Compliance Program ([RC]2P). At this stage the program requires all students enrolled in the graduate biomedical sciences program to certify completion of education and training in the ORI-defined nine instructional areas of RCR during their first two years of study and prior to graduation. Students are therefore required to attend and participate in all seminars and workshops coordinated by the Division of Biomedical Sciences and/or those co-sponsored by NIH-supported programs. This education and training effort begins for our students during the first week of the academic year in our traditional Orientation Week Program, and follows longitudinally throughout the academic year with the participation of external and internal resources in a series of seminars and workshops. These activities consist of interactive sessions for the optimal benefit of our students. Upon successful completion of each individual module students receive an official certificate of participation, which serves as evidence of the completion of such requirement. Some of the topics can be covered more than once during the year giving students an expanded opportunity to receive the specific education prior to graduation. Academic Year 2007-08 activities are summarized below. As an additional requirement all graduate students are provided with the ORI Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research manual by Nick Steneck: (2002) and its reading is mandatory, for which reason these must certify in writing that they have responsibly completed this task.

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