The Ethics of Research with Human Subjects

Alexandra Cooper, Associate Director, Education and Training, Social Science Research Institute
Lorna Hicks, Associate Director, Office of Research Support

Project Description:

As Duke works to ensure that its students develop into active learners and involved citizens, an
increasing number of undergraduates will undertake independent research.  Mentoring these apprentice
investigators, while worthwhile and rewarding, will increase demands on Duke faculty.  Engaging students as competent and ethically aware researchers is necessarily time-intensive, as students require careful and ongoing advice to effectively plan, implement, and complete research.

With this in mind, this project developed a series of multimedia modules to aid faculty in efforts to educate students about ethical conduct in researching human subjects. Several modules were tailored to meet needs as identified by faculty, such as: cultural sensitivity, private versus public information, subject rights, risks and information consent, and vulnerable subjects. The modules also emphasize the global reach of students’ activities and draw attention to the need to craft research protocols so that they are appropriate for the particular cultural context in which they will be undertaken.

Project start date: 4/21/2008
Funding awarded: $$19,860