University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Department of Neurological Sciences

This page has moved to here!


NSCI 327  Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Biomedical Research

Spring Term, 2014

Thursdays in HSRF 400, 4:00-5:15 PM

Course Director: Rae Nishi (; HSRF 406; 6-4504

Course Syllabus printer-friendly PDF version

Courses such as this one arise from a growing public concern that many students, postdoctoral fellows, technicians, and even faculty, arrive in the laboratory not fully informed about the norms of science, the ethical requirements of research, or the policies and regulations that govern research. In addition, many situations in which ethical issues arise are complex, and they require a skilled approach for identifying and assessing problems and for finding solutions. This course provides a discussion forum for achieving these goals. Each 75 min session will consist of a brief presentation on the indicated topic, followed by a discussion of relevant cases and scenarios. The goal of this course is to instill in trainees a strong sense of integrity in science so that they will propagate this culture to future generations of scientists.

Whether you pass or fail is based upon your attendance and participation in discussions. You must sign and turn in your attendance sheet at the end of every session. You are allowed to miss one session. If you miss more than one, you will receive a “no pass”. Postdocs and mentored junior faculty who are auditing this class to fulfill their training requirement in Responsible Conduct must also sign in.


Jan. 16

I. Science, Public Advocacy, and Policy

Class materials here

Melody Burkins

Senior Director for Research and Strategic Initiatives

Jan. 23

II. Misconduct in Science

Read the articles listed at:

Also, go to and play the full version of this interactive video by picking one of the characters and making decisions as the prompts come up. We will be asking questions about these assignments in class.

Charles Irvin

Professor, Medicine

Jan. 30

III. Data Acquisition and Interpretation


Rae Nishi

Professor, Neurological Sciences

Feb. 6


IV. Image Manipulation

Readings: Image Manipulation 1 and Image Manipulation 2

Doug Taajtes

Director, COM Microscopy Imaging Core Facility

Feb. 13

V. Responsible Authorship

Please read pgs 1-11 of the attached document. Keep this pdf as we will also be reading the sections on peer review for next week.



Rae Nishi

Professor, Neurological Sciences

Feb. 20

VI. Confidentiality / Peer Review

This coming Thursday we will be discussing Peer Review. Please read the appropriate section in the reading from last week (sfnSciCommRCR) and the blog at and be prepared to discuss both items.

Michael Eisen Blog

Rae Nishi

Professor, Neurological Sciences

Feb. 27

VI. Mentor-Trainee Relationships


Christopher Francklyn

Professor, Biochemistry

March 6



March 13

VIII. Collaborations

Gary Mawe

Professor, Neurological Sciences

March 20

IX. Journals, Impact factors and Open Access

Please read the following articles:

Nature-The Golden Club

Impact factor 2

h index 2

Rae Nishi

Professor, Neurological Sciences

March 27

X. Human Subjects

Complete IRB training prior to class

Alexandra Potter

Assistant Professor, Psychiatry

April 3

XI. Conflicts of Interest

Russell Tracy

Professor, Pathology and Biochemistry

April 10

XII. Animals in Research

Margaret Vizzard

Professor, Neurological Sciences and Vice Chair, IACUC

April 17


XIII. Intellectual Property: Ownership and Sharing


Kerry Swift

Technology Licensing Officer



Last modified April 12 2016 12:32 PM