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    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Expanding and Assessing RCR Education in the Graduate Curriculum

    UAB will seek to expand its current training efforts in RCR by reaching out to doctoral students in the physical sciences and Engineering disciplines, and engage students and faculty in discussion of RCR issues on a continuing basis.


    This sustained dialogue will be achieved through periodic workshops and discipline-specific education activities, and the development of short video segments to dramatize case studies. These will be used as a resource for both an introductory course in the “Principles of Scientific Integrity” and subsequent continuing education of graduate students in the Schools of Engineering and of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM), and the development of assessment tools for measuring the development of ethical reasoning skills among graduate students.


    UAB’s plan to implement these goals consists of developing RCR case studies specific for NSM and Engineering doctoral students, providing support for workshops and conferences on RCR issues, and working with graduate programs in NSM and in Engineering to make the “Principles of Scientific Integrity” course mandatory for entering doctoral students. In addition, UAB will develop continuing education strategies in RCR for graduate students, acknowledging that assessment activities are a key component of educational efforts in RCR and for providing oversight of RCR educational activities.


    “Principles of Scientific Integrity” is a 3 credit hour, semester-long course using case studies and small-group discussion focusing on RCR issues. The case studies discussed in this course will then be produced by a student director, actors, and production crew, who will turn the script into a filmed production (each one 5 to 7 minutes long). Videos will be offered on a Web site or DVD to act as a resource for future discussion and courses. Oversight efforts will consist of meetings between the PI and co-PIs to assure that the goals of the proposal are being met, discussion by members of the Graduate Council Advisory Committee (ADCOM) who will provide advice about RCR activities, and discussions with representatives of the Graduate Student Association to insure that the needs of graduate students are being met based on RCR standards.


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