Research Responsibility & Ethics

Research Responsibility and Ethics (PIBS 503) is in session every fall from September to December. Course materials including case studies and podcast lectures are available online through CANVAS, and discussion will take place in small-group sessions offered at many different times throughout the semester.

NIH mandates 8 hours of discussion to include:

  • Fraud, Fabrication, and Plagiarism
  • Data Storage, Ownership, and Peer Review
  • Animal Use and Care
  • Human Subjects Research and IRBs
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Research in the Global Workplace
  • Dual Use Issues
  • Face-to-face discussion with PI about ethical practices particular to project/laboratory


Graduate Students: Register for PIBS 503 (1 credit) in Wolverine Access.

Postdoctoral Fellows, K99/K08 Awardees, UROP Students, PREP Scholars, and individuals renewing their training: DO NOT register for the course in Wolverine Access (you will receive a certificate, but not an official grade). Please contact the course administrator, Michelle DiMondo, to request a spot in the course. Deadline for 2018 enrollment: Oct. 1.

Signing Up and Preparing for Small Group Discussions

  • Upon receiving a confirmation email, Log into CTools. Choose "PIBS Ethics Course" in your Workspace. If you do not see "PIBS Ethics Course" navigate to "My Workspace" and then "Membership" to search for the site.
  • Refer to the CTools schedule for a comprehensive overview of the available discussions. Sessions will be added as faculty become available. Please refer to the schedule often.
  • Using the “Sign-Up” tool, register for each specific discussion of your choice. There is a maximum number of participants allowed to register for each discussion.
  • Choose "Resources" and review all material in the folder for the topic at hand (this may include a video lecture hosted on Vimeo and/or written materials)
  • Attend the session: Discuss the case studies and the video lecture
  • Complete the series of seven small group discussions by the last week of classes in December, and discuss your own laboratory's ethics procedures with your PI. You will receive either a grade or a certificate for the Fall term.


NOTE: PEERRS (the online ethics course for faculty) does NOT satisfy this requirement for students and postdoctoral fellows according to the NIH.