Skip to main content

Workshop on Responsible Professional Practices in a Changing Research Environment: 2012

International Research: Moving Towards Best Practices

On February 16, 2012, in conjunction with its Annual Meeting in Vancouver BC, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) convened a one-day workshop on Responsible Professional Practices in a Changing Research Environment, supported with funding from the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI). The 2012 AAAS Annual Meeting Workshop had as its theme, “International Research: Moving Towards Best Practices.”

National boundaries are of diminishing relevance for doing 21st century science, as global problems will require remedies developed through concerted international initiatives. Today, research requires globally-engaged scientists working collaboratively across borders, cultures and legal systems. This raises the real possibility that the melding of multiple cultures, regulations, and institutions will create tensions among the values, norms and legal frameworks represented by international collaborators. A better understanding of those tensions and the ethical issues they engender is critical.

Some key questions/issues covered at the workshop include:

  • How can/do differences in laws, customs, resources, and norms facilitate or constrain research?
  • How can researchers successfully navigate differences in normative expectations and traditions?
  • How should basic matters such as research management responsibilities, reporting requirements, data collection and sharing, authorship, intellectual property, and oversight be decided?
  • How can ethics training and education be designed to take into account cultural differences among members on an international research team?

Synopsis | Agenda | Speaker Biographies


Welcome and Overview of the Workshop

  • Mark S. Frankel, Director, Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights & Law Program, AAAS

Setting the Context for Ethical Conduct in International Research

International Research & Responsible Conduct: Navigating Cross-Cultural Ethics

Policies and Best Practices: Views from Canada and Germany

The Lab: A Hands-on Exercise

  • Led by John Galland, Director, Education and Integrity, U.S. Office of Research Integrity

Better Research Through Better Universal Practices: an Interactive Learning Session*

  • John Galland, Director, Education and Integrity, U.S. Office of Research Integrity
  • Art Grueneberger, Professional Actor
  • Nanci Zoppi, Professional Actor


Speaker Biographies

Volker Bähr is Research Integrity Officer (RIO) of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. He is interested in the development of preventative measures against research misconduct and also investigates allegations of research misconduct. Bähr studied Biochemistry at the Freie Universität Berlin. In his doctorial dissertation, and working in the department of medicinal microbiology at the Christian Albrecht Universität Kiel, he investigated immunomodulating effects of drugs. He was head of the laboratory of the department of endocrinology, diabetes and nutrition in the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, investigating the control of the hypothalamus – pituitary – adrenal (HPA) axis, especially steroid metabolism and its effect on insulin sensitivity.

Beth Fischer is the Director of the Survival Skills and Ethics Program at the University of Pittsburgh, where she also is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management within the Graduate School of Public Health. She has worked full time on the Survival Skills and Ethics Project since 1993, and has extensive experience in developing, offering, and evaluating educational programs for individuals ranging in level from undergraduate students to senior faculty and administrators. Dr. Fischer lectures regularly on topics including obtaining funding and employment, writing research articles, giving seminars, and the responsible conduct of research (RCR). She is particularly interested in promoting scientific capacity in low-resource environments. She has provided training to researchers in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas and is a Visiting Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, China where she co-teaches a 3-week for-credit course, Communication Skills for Scientists. Dr. Fischer served on the Society for Neuroscience’s Working Group on Professional Development, and also assisted that Society in developing a code of responsible conduct in publishing. She is a Fellow of the AAAS.

Mark Frankel is director of the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). At AAAS he has directed or co-directed projects on research integrity and scientific misconduct, codes of ethics in scientific and engineering societies, the ethical and policy implications of human stem cell research, the implications of advances in neuroscience research for the legal system, and personalized medicine, among others. He oversees a collaborative project on ethics and science with the China Association for Science and Technology. Dr. Frankel is a former member of the Boards of Directors of the National Patient Safety Foundation and the Food and Drug Law Institute; he currently serves on the Board of the Center for Law, Science & Innovation at Arizona State University. He is also a member of the Science and Ethics Advisory Group at Roche Genetics in Basel, Switzerland. Dr. Frankel serves on the editorial boards of Science and Engineering Ethics and the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics. He is editor of AAAS’s quarterly publication, Professional Ethics Report, and a Fellow of AAAS.

John Galland is Director of the Division of Education and Integrity in the Office of Research Integrity, United States Department of Health and Human Services. The Division 1) manages the assurance records submitted annually from more than 5,000 institutions that receive public Health Service funds; 2) develops educational materials about research integrity and research misconduct prevention; and coordinates and disseminates information through its conferences and workshops, website, and publications. Before joining the Office of Research Integrity in 2009, Dr. Galland was Director of the University of California Davis Laboratory Management Institute where he developed a curriculum and unique pedagogy for educating scientists in the practical business of running a research program and taught a graduate course in Philosophy and Ethics at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Galland received both his MS and PhD at UC Davis and before returning to the institution in 2003 he was professor of veterinary medicine at Kansas State University.

Elizabeth Heitman is Associate Professor and Director of Clinical and Research Ethics in the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society and Departments of Medicine and Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). Dr. Heitman’s work focuses on cultural and international aspects of medicine, biomedical science, and public health. Her primary research addresses evaluation of research integrity education and trainees’ cultural awareness and professional socialization. Dr. Heitman directs a Fogarty International Center research ethics education program with the Hospital Nacional de Niños in San José, Costa Rica, and recently completed an NSF-sponsored study of international science trainees’ experience of US standards of research practice and education. She is a member of AAAS’s Science Ethics Initiative with the China Association for Science and Technology, and has contributed to AAAS’s biosafety/biosecurity education policy. Dr. Heitman is Co-Director of the Biostatistics, Design, and Research Ethics core of the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR) and Chair-Elect of the Clinical Research Ethics Key Function Committee of the national CTSA Consortium. She teaches VUMC’s required course on Research Ethics and Scientific Integrity as well as Ethics in Global Health. Dr. Heitman received her PhD in Religious Studies (1988), from the joint program in medical ethics offered by Rice University and the University of Texas – Houston Medical School.

Barbara Sina works at the Fogarty International Center/NIH as a Program Officer for the Global Infectious Disease Research Training (D43) Program and the International Research Ethics Training (R25) Program as well as the infectious disease, microbiology and immunology portfolio for the small collaborative research grants FIRCA (R03) program. Dr. Sina received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology studying the developmental genetics of Drosophila from the University of Southern California. She studied the molecular basis of drug resistance in malaria and Leishmania as a NIH postdoctoral fellow at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sina worked in the Office of the Science Advisor at USAID as a AAAS Science Diplomacy Fellow and a senior researcher at the Biomedical Research Institute involved in the development malaria vaccines in collaboration with Walter Reed Army Institute of Medical Research. Subsequently, Dr. Sina joined the faculty of the Entomology Department at the University of Maryland and conducted research on the molecular basis of malaria transmission from mosquitoes with field work in Mexico and Thailand. Dr. Sina has also managed the Minority International Research Training (MIRT) Program (T39), the International Research Fellowship Program (F05), the International Research Scientist Development Award (K01) Program, the Malaria Research Training Program (D71), the Malaria Clinical, Operational and Health Services Research Training Planning Award program associated with the President’s Malaria Initiative, the International Centers of Research Excellence (U2R) as well as a Scientific Program Coordinator for the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) Secretariat and a current member of the Advisory Group for the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG) grants (U01) since joining FIC in 1998.

Michael Zigmond is the Scientific Director of the Center for Health Equity Research, a member of the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. He is also a Distinguished Professor at Fudan University, in Shanghai, China. Dr. Zigmond received his BS in Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, his PhD in Biopsychology at the University of Chicago, and his postdoctoral training in neuropharmacology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on neuronal cell death, survival, and adaptation in the brain with particular attention to neurodegenerative diseases. This is part of a broader interest in the influence of life style on brain health and non-communicable disease. He is also the Associate Director of a training program in professional development and responsible conduct based at the University of Pittsburgh that provides workshops at many national and international venues, including countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. He is a former Secretary of the Society for Neuroscience and a current member of its International Advisory Committee. He is also a Fellow of the AAAS, and a former secretary of its Neuroscience Section.

Susan Zimmerman is the Executive Director of the Interagency Secretariat on Research Ethics in Ottawa. She is a lawyer whose career has focused on health law and public policy. A native of Montreal, Susan received her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College, civil law and common law degrees from McGill University, and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto. Her professional experience includes positions as a senior research associate at the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University, Director of Legislation and Law Reform at the Canadian Bar Association, legal counsel at Health Canada and Director of Research for the Law Commission of Canada. Prior to her appointment to the Secretariat in September, 2007, Ms Zimmerman was a member of the Health Law Group at the Toronto office of a national law firm, where she represented health care institutions and a variety of health care professionals. Ms Zimmerman has also been a university lecturer in health law and ethics and a member of research ethics boards.

The Workshop is partially supported with funds from the U.S. Office of Research Integrity, Department of Health and Human Services.