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Research ethics

Information about research misconduct, authorship, authorship disputes, record keeping, mandatory trainings, and other research integrity topics.

Your role in research integrity

Research is a collaborative process requiring individuals with various expertise to work together to advance research. All team members are responsible for fostering an environment that enables scientists to work together toward common goals while protecting public trust in the research enterprise.

As a member of the Intramural Research Program, trainees and fellows are expected to comply with federal and NIH regulations supporting the responsible conduct of research. It is critical that you fully understand NIH policies and know where to turn with questions or concerns. We are here to support you as you develop your understanding of research integrity, within your research group and beyond.

Required training

To be sure that you fully understand principles of research ethics and responsible conduct of research, and know where to turn for guidance and advice, you are required to:

Depending on the type of research you do, you may be required to complete additional trainings; for example, human subject protections, the use of animals in research, or select agents. Ask your PI or daily supervisor for a list of all trainings you are required to complete when you arrive; also ask about annual refresher trainings.

Know who can help

We appreciate that it can be difficult to know where to turn with questions or concerns about responsible conduct of research. If you feel comfortable, speak directly with the people involved and consult your daily supervisor and/or the PI in your group. However, we understand that hierarchy in research groups can be a barrier to open communication; therefore, here are other sources of guidance and support:

We recommend that you first seek guidance within your Institute, but if that is not comfortable for you, or you still have concerns, please reach out to OITE or the Agency Intramural Research Integrity Officer. We work together to support trainees and will consult as needed to provide you with appropriate guidance.

Additional resources

In addition, there are other important resources available to you, including:

NIH Office of Animal Care & Use

Provides the NIH Intramural Research Program with oversight, guidance and training related to the use of animals in research.

Click here to visit the Office of Animal Care & Use website.

Office of Human Subjects Research Protections

Promotes the protection of rights, safety, and welfare of human subjects by providing oversight, guidance, and training related to the NIH’s clinical research program.

Click here to visit the Office of Human Subjects Research Protections website.

NIH Library Services

Supports responsible conduct of research by providing training, editing services, free access to plagiarism checkers, assistance with managing data, statistical consultations, and a variety of tutorials to assist with data analysis and publishing your work.

Click here to visit the NIH Library Services website.

NIH Office of the Ombudsman

A confidential resource for discussing work relationships with the goal of supporting efficient and collaborative scientific research.

Click here to visit the NIH Office of the Ombudsman.