NEUR 705 - Responsible Conduct of Research

Overview

Image courtesy of Dr. Jo Badge, University of Leicester
Effective as of September 2010, all IPN students must complete the NEUR 705 course in order to graduate from the program.

The IPN's Responsible Conduct of Research Workshops (NEUR 705) are the first of their kind at McGill. They are a series of four two-and-a-half hour workshops, held on two dates, on scientific integrity and responsibility. There may well be a wider adoption of this type of class at McGill in the future, because there is a need to train our scientists in integrity and accountability. 

The goals of this course are: 

  • To provide you with a familiarity on issues in the responsible conduct of research
  • To guide you in problem-solving on these issues
  • To teach you how to identify and assess ethical issues which may arise in research
  • To provide you with resources for handling conflicts in research integrity that emerge in your own work and studies

 

Course Registration

You must register for NEUR 705 on Minerva. The CRN for the Fall 2022 term is 541, and for the Winter 2023 term is 524.

 

Format

The main lecturer of NEUR 705 is Dr. Emily Bell, Adjunct Professor at McGill University and former Associate Researcher at the Neuroethics Research Unit of the IRCM, along with co-lecturers Dr. J. Rochford and Dr. C. Ernst.

Each session will start with a 35-45 minute lecture following which students will be broken into small groups and participate in a facilitator‐led interactive activity or discussion of a case on the topics at hand. Students will also be provided with a list of resources available to help them deal with research integrity issues. 

 

Fall 2022 Schedule

NEUR 705 lectures will be conducted remotely, via Zoom. They will be held on Friday, October 21, 2022, from 12:30 - 5:00 PM E.T., and on Friday, October 28, 2022, from 12:30 - 5:00 PM E.T.

PDF icon Course syllabus for Fall 2022

 

Background Story: Why is IPN doing this? 

Plainly put, Science is under attack globally. Public perception and understanding of science is perhaps at an all time low. Phenomena, that are ubiquitously accepted by scientists, are disbelieved by as much as 50% of the population. Alarmingly, among the developed countries, this holds especially true in the USA and UK. Incidents where the integrity of researchers is questioned or discredited harm us all. Therefore, we as scientists have a responsibility to conduct research in a responsible and accountable manner.

In an October 2010 report, the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Research Integrity concluded that there are existing gaps in the policy and practice of research integrity at Canadian institutions (Council of Canadian Academies, 2010). McGill University’s own policy, the Regulation on the Conduct of Research, stresses the researcher (student’s) responsibility to uphold basic tenets such as “high scientific and ethical standards” in research and scholarship and the principles of honesty, integrity, trust and accountability in their work (https://www.mcgill.ca/research/about/integrity/).

In the context of neuroscience research, there is often great public interest in the results of research, and enormous potential for research results to shape how we understand the brain and mental function. For us, there is a huge need to reflect on principles which guide responsible conduct in neuroscience research, to guard against its potential misuse, and to be aware of the ethical imperatives of our research.

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