Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

Academic Ethics and Responsible Conduct of Research


UNI encourages all faculty, staff, and students involved in research to obtain training in how to maintain the highest standards of research integrity.  There are a variety of opportunities available for training and educational in this area.  Most research courses at UNI incorporate various aspects of ethics training in their curricula, and special courses devoted to the study of ethics are offered through certain departments which may include topics specific to research ethics.  Special workshops and seminars are offered periodically at UNI as well, for faculty, staff, and/or students, through the various colleges or other units.  

University Policies

UNI Academic Ethics Policy - Faculty: Outlines ethical standards of responsibility for faculty members to scholarship, students, colleagues, the university, and the larger community which the university serves.

UNI Academic Ethics Policy - Students: Students at the University of Northern Iowa are required to observe the commonly accepted standards of academic honesty and integrity.

UNI Research Misconduct Policy - Faculty, Staff, and Students: Provides guidance in addressing alleged research misconduct by faculty, staff, and students affiliated with the University of Northern Iowa.

Training and Resources for Research Ethics

Information on upcoming research ethics events and training opportunities is available on the RSP Training and Events webpage

You can also earn a non-credit certificate in Ethics in Research and Scholarship for participating in some of these events.  Information on the certificate can be found at Ethics in Research and Scholarship Certificate.

Requirements for Ethics Training on NSF and NIH Grants

The CITI program in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is required for students and post-doctoral researchers employed on NSF grants.  A great deal more is encouraged.  More information about this requirement is available at Requirements for Ethics Training on NSF Grants.  The National Institutes of Health requires that all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and dissertation research grant must receive instruction in responsible conduct of research. Pertinent regulations are outlined in NOT-OD-10-019

CITI Program in Research Ethics

One resource for training in research integrity and research misconduct for faculty, staff, and students is the online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), based at the University of Miami.  This program offers online tutorial courses that can be accessed by anyone who lists UNI as their institutional affiliation on the CITI Training Program log-in page.  Courses are available in the following areas:

Human Participant Protection - By completing the Protection of Human Research Subjects training course, researchers learn about issues in research with human participants. Four Basic Courses are available through UNI in the Protection of Human Research Subjects: Biomedical Focus, Social and Behavioral Focus, IRB Members Course and Other Groups.

Animal Care and Use - This module meets the federal (USDA, OLAW) requirements for basic training in the humane care and use of animals in research and teaching.

Responsible Conduct of Research -This training includes discipline specific courses in Biomedical, Social & Behavioral Research, Physical Sciences, Humanities, Engineers, and for Administrators. RCR topics covered in this module include Research Misconduct, Data Management, Conflict of Interest, Collaborative Science, Responsible Authorship, Mentoring, Peer Review, LabAnimals, and Human Subjects.

Export Controls - After completing this module the learner should be able to: 1. Describe the three major sets of regulations that regulate the export of materials, technology, technical data, and software from the United States. 2. Define and use key terms and concepts critical to understanding U.S. export regulations. 3. Understand why it is important for researchers in U.S. institutions of higher education to have a core knowledge of U.S. export regulations. 

Conflicts of Interest - This training may be taken by anyone at UNI, but is targeted towards those involved in research projects that are funded by U.S. Public Health Service (NIH, AHQR, DHHS).

CITI Instructions (PDF)

CITI Training Program Link

Other Resources

A comprehensive compilation of articles, tutorials, and instructional resources related to Research Ethics can be found online:

Association of Practical and Professional Ethics - international ethics community where you will find the nation's RCR and research integrity scholars

American Association for the Advancement of Science – AAAS has a wide variety of resources on scientific integrity, including listings for web/media resources, conferences, blogs, and government links and documents.

Office of Research Integrity - ORI is the key federal agency that oversees the Responsible Conduct of Research – has a comprehensive compilation of articles, tutorials, and instructional resources related to Research Ethics.

National Center for Professional and Research Ethics

UNI Library User Guide on ethics - provides guidelines to finding books and other resources on ethics topics

List of ethics journals (PDF) - across various academic fields

Ethics & Compliance Initiative - for business oriented resources

Ethics Unwrapped - series of free videos exploring ethical issues, for use in teaching

A Framework for Ethical Decision Making - An introduction to thinking ethically from the Markula Center for Applied Ethics

Ethics Codes Collection  - Maintained by the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, this database is the largest online repository of ethics codes and guidelines in the world.

Committee on Publication Ethics

Retraction Watch - an interesting blog with regular news about publication ethics and retractions from the literature

"The Lab"  - The Office of Research Integrity produced this interactive video useful for faculty, staff, and students that depicts possible research misconduct in a science lab and allows viewers to take on one of the character roles and actually make decisions along the way that direct the video action in one direction or another.  The acting in the video is fairly good, and it is a nice resource for training and coursework in the sciences and possibly other fields as well.  RSP has a copy of the DVD that we can loan to faculty, or you can use the link above to watch it online or order your own copy.  The video is accompanied by a Facilitator's Guide to support group discussion.      

Register your research on the Open Science Framework - new initiative to enhance transparency and reproducibility in research, developed by the Center for Open Science.