Responsible Conduct of Research
Ensuring the responsible conduct of research is of paramount importance to the University of Delaware and to the nation.
"Scientific research is grounded in values such as integrity, honesty, trust, curiosity, and respect for intellectual achievement. The expression of these values in the diverse styles and approaches of the various scientific disciplines has contributed directly to the discovery of knowledge and thus to the achievements of the U.S. scientific research enterprise," noted the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy in the report, On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research.
However, as the report goes on to say, growth of the
U.S. research enterprise, changing social expectations about the accountability of scientists, increasingly
complex research that places new demands on
scientific oversight, and expanded commercialization
of research results have catalyzed the formation and implementation of new policies and regulations by academic institutions and funding agencies to
safeguard the process of science in today's academic research arena.
On Being a Scientist:
Responsible Conduct in Research. (Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy Press, 1995).
Responsible Conduct of Research Education Committee. Part of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, this committee provides leadership to the research community in identifying and developing education programs in the responsible conduct of research.
Responsible Conduct Courses. This Web site, produced by Columbia University with support from the Department of Health and Human Services, presents case studies on conflicts of interest, mentoring, peer review, misconduct, and data management.
UD's Science, Ethics, and Public Policy Program (SEPP). This new program's purpose is to integrate ethics and public policy inquiry with scientific research, University curricula, private sector innovation, and government policy-making. SEPP seeks to clarify questions of fact and value of pressing concern in scientific research; to enhance the dialogue among academic, corporate, and public-interest stakeholders; to increase the synergies of public-private cooperation in emerging technologies where there are significant ethical concerns; and ultimately to establish in Delaware a unique center of national excellence to serve the public good.
The University of Delaware holds its faculty and staff to the highest standards of conduct. It is University policy that "employees are expected at all times, to respect the rights of the University, its students, visitors and other members of the University community. Inherent in this responsibility is the obligation to be courteous, respectful, honest, and to protect the University environment."
These standards of conduct are critical to every step of the UD researcher's pursuit of the truth — from the formulation of proposals, to interactions with research associates and students, to the collection and handling of data from experiments or other scholarly activity, to the evaluation of that data, peer review, and protection and presentation of results. Furthermore, research involving human or animal subjects must be administered according to established University policies and federal regulations and with a commitment to the highest ethical standards.
Every UD researcher needs to understand and comply with the policies and procedures, established by the University and the federal government, that are relevant to his or her research. You'll find links to a complete listing of UD's policies, along with required forms, highlighted in the blue box above and on our Policies & Forms page on this Web site.