(Responsible Conduct in Research)

PIBS 503 (Research Responsibility and Ethics)

This course includes case studies, podcast lectures, and interactive small-group discussions covering the NIH mandated 8 hours of instruction on (1) Fraud, Fabrication, and Plagiarism, (2) Data Storage, Ownership, and Peer Review, (3) Animal Use and Care, (4) Human Subjects Research and IRBs, (5) Conflict of Interest, (6) Research in the Global Workplace, (7) Dual Use Issues, and (8) Face-to-face discussion with PI about ethical practices particular to project/laboratory.

Bioinf 504 (Rigor and Reproducibility (R&R) Training)

This course is offered annually just before the Fall semester. The course requires some programing experience and hence is for students after their first year. Course coverage and learning modules include: (1) Transparency in Research, (2) Blinding and Randomization, (3) Biological and Technical Replicates, (4) Sample Size, Outliers and Exclusion Criteria, (5) Data Presentation, (6) Sex as a Biological Variable, and (7) Reagent Verification.


This is the University of Michigan online self-study Program for Education and Evaluation in Responsible Research and Scholarship (PEERRS). PEERRS training is mandatory for all graduate students, faculty and staff involved in research. It is in addition to the other course training (e.g., RCRS or Bioinf 504). PEERRS uses a web-based instruction and concludes with a certification upon successful training and testing module completion. The 6 PEERS learning modules include: (1) Research Practice Foundations (publication/authorship, intellectual property, conflict of interest, signatures, plagiarism, misconduct reporting, information security); (2) Research Administration (procedures and forms, PI responsibilities, pre- and post-award activities, federal regulations, important contacts); (3) Authorship; (4) Conflict of Interest (definitions and recognizing potential conflicts, responsibilities toward students and colleagues, consulting and conflict of commitment, sponsored project and technology transfer); (5) Human Subjects (history and ethical principles, basic IRB regulations and review process, informed consent, research with protected populations); and (6) Animal Care and Use. Each PEERRS module consists of a couple of dozen web pages containing core material, short case studies with questions, and pop-ups with additional information. Multiple-choice exams are given for each module and passing grades must be achieved. PEERRS introduces responsible research practices, typically requires about 12 hours to complete, and is extremely informative and engaging. All BIDS-TP students will be required to complete PEERRS by the end of their first semester in the Program. All BIDS Fellows and Trainees will be required to take RCR training, as well as receive refresher RCR training in year 5, and later, using UM’s PEERRS training.