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Research Ethics and Integrity Training

Scholarly Integrity and Research Compliance (SIRC) Investigator Series

The Scholarly Integrity and Research Compliance Investigator Series is an enrichment program that provides training on ethical decision-making, and the responsible conduct of research.  Investigator Series courses complement but will not satisfy graduate program ethics and integrity education requirements. For more information about funding related responsible conduct of research training requirements, please email

Dates and times for upcoming Investigator Series webinars can be found in the TLOS: Professional Development Course Catalogue. Additionally, many of the Investigator Series webinars can be delivered upon request.

If you're interested in arranging a responsible conduct of research webinar, please email

Course Description: Researchers regularly face tough decisions such as weighing the risks and benefits of a proposed study, but researchers may not recognize that those decisions have an ethical dimension. This training introduces participants to research ethics, and provides a practical approach to ethical decision making. The training will also highlight the complementary roles that facts, and values play in ethical decision-making.

CourseDescription: Prior to conducting research with human subjects, research protocols must be reviewed by the Human Research Protection Program and the Institutional Review Board. This course outlines the requirements for conducting human subjects research at Virginia Tech, and provides an overview of Virginia Tech’s submission and review processes.

Course Description: Research protocols serve many purposes, one of which is to provide the Human Research Protections Program and the Institutional Review Board with the information they need to conduct the ethical review required by federal law and university policy. Successful protocols incorporate both a thorough description of the procedures and methods and ethical considerations of the research plan. . Incorporating ethics into a research protocol, requires an understanding of the ethical principles outlined in the Belmont Report, as well as the ability to infuse those principles into the various sections of the protocol. This training will explain the ethical requirements for research with human subjects, and explain where to include that ethical information in the research protocol.

Course Description: Independent decision-making in accordance with one’s goals, values, and preferences is central to the decision to enroll in a research study. The informed consent process is intended to facilitate potential participants’ decision-making process. Researchers interacting with potential participants must create informed consent processes that provide potential subjects with the information and support they need to make a decision that aligns with their values and preferences. This training session will outline the requirements for informed consent and highlight the importance of creating a consent process that facilitates understanding.

Course Description: Authors of research publications are usually those collaborators who provide meaningful intellectual contribution to a project, but determining authorship position (e.g., first author, senior author) and deciding what constitutes a meaningful contribution can require complex decisions. Authorship disputes can lead to conflict between collaborators, but those types of disputes can be avoided with transparent pre-planning and clear discussions of expectations. This training will discuss authorship disputes as well as tips for avoiding common ethical pitfalls in scientific publication.

Course Description: The design, conduct, and reporting of research should be free from bias resulting from an investigator’s financial conflicts of interest. Lack of objectivity in research can distort results and lead to incorrect conclusions. This training provides information about the ethical issues concerning unidentified conflicts of interest and the federal, state, and local requirements for reporting interests.

Course Description: Scholarly Integrity and Research Compliance and the Office of Sponsored Programs have collaborated to define a process for transferring data from one institution to another. In this training we present some of the tools and processes that are available to researchers to make the data transfer process a smooth one.  We discuss the life cycle of a transfer agreement from data evaluation, intake, and negotiation through to final signing.

Course Description: Scholarly Integrity and Research Compliance and the Collaborative Computing Solutions within the Division of IT are aware of the challenges of adjusting to research at a distance. In this training we present some of the tools and technologies that are available to researchers. We  discuss options for every stage of the research data collection process from collection to data destruction, and provide real world examples of using the available offerings to make the transition to socially distanced research.

Responsible Conduct of Research Training

Please see the following page from the Office of Research and Innovation.

Graduate Student Scholarly Ethics and Integrity Education

All graduate students are expected to uphold the Virginia Tech Principles of Community and the Graduate School’s Expectations for Graduate Education as well as the scholarly integrity and research ethics standards of their disciplines. Graduate students must complete degree program requirements for learning about four required scholarly ethics and integrity topics plus additional topics relevant to the discipline as follows.