Clinical translational students' perceptions of research ethics coursework: a case study

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Linda S. Behar-Horenstein *
Huibin Zhang
(*) Corresponding Author:
Linda S. Behar-Horenstein |


Relatively unknown is whether coursework in responsible conduct of research actually achieve the purposes for which it is designed. In this study, the authors report clinical translational students’ perceptions of their research ethics coursework and the alignment between course content as recommended in the literature. We used grounded theory to portray emergent findings across focus groups and semistructured interviews among 31 participants at one clinical translational science hub. We also used thematic analysis to analyze course syllabi. Two themes emerged: Averting scientific misconduct and Responding to ethical dilemmas. Students reported that they did not acquire requisite strategies to address research ethical dilemmas. One of the course syllabi indicated the provision of active learning opportunities. However, the findings did not offer support. Developing experiential learning activities and ensuring that course content is aligned with the contemporary ethical practices, such as case study and portfolio development, is recommended.

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