The research ethics training effort at UNM existed as early as 2000 with a faculty survey seeking opinions and attitudes towards consequences for research misconduct. A low level of training was provided campus wide in two courses (data for 2004 – 2008 shown in Table 1). In 2009 effort was increased to provide ethics education to researchers through the Office of the Vice President for Research. The Academic Integrity & Research Ethics (AIRE) office was established in Graduate Studies in 2013 which saw a steady annual increase in certification and compliance especially among research-active graduate students.
In 2016 AIRE/Graduate Studies produced the first compliance tracking utility that could identify federally funded recipients. For the first time (that’s why the orange bar is so high) AIRE is able to locate actual individuals who are now systematically identified so that they can acquire certification in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) by taking advantage of research ethics education opportunities. Ethics resources are also listed in the Professional & Academic Workshops (PAW) website.
Twelve to sixteen cases of research misconduct are posted on the ORI website each year.
Wondering how much of a budget a university research ethics program should have in proportion to the institutions overall research program? The answer is 0.1%. This means that a university that spends $500 million in research per year should spend $500,000 per year supporting ethics education! (citation Kalichman, 2000).
Of the 4000 graduate students at UNM, only a fraction of those students are required to obtain RCR certification as detailed in federal regulations (see the Scientific Integrity Plan or SIP). The actual number of those required to be certified changes from semester to semester because of a number of factors. Those factors include when a student graduates or a student goes off of federal funding. Regardless of the funding a student may have, UNM encourages ALL graduatestudents to get trained in the ethical conduct of research! However the number of students changes every semester.
In the last three years (Table 2, 3 below) AIRE has been increasing the numbers of certifications awarded. Successful ways research ethics content is delivered includes courses in research ethics, adding research ethics content into classes already in progress (such as research methods classes being taught by departments; ethics across the curriculum, EAC), situations in labs were faculty will offer research ethics content (ethics in context; EIC). Workshops and symposia were not big factors in certification over the last three years.
Table 2: Count of certificates issue by year
Count of UNM_ID
Table 3: Count of students certified in research ethics by course, ethics-across-the-curriculum, ethics-in-context, or workshops