​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Format: Virtual learning with weekly live discussion sessions 

​​​​Dates: January 17 – April 24, 2024

* No class March 13

Live sessions: Wednesdays •​ 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. US Central Time

D​​​on't miss this unique experience - APS's course is interactive and discussion-based. 

“It really opened my eyes to a lot of things that should be obvious to researchers, but are not." 

“Iwas great to learn from so many different people from different countries and at different career stages."​​ 

Registration for this course is closed.

Course Overview​

Scientific research has never been more important to society’s well-being, but misconduct scandals undermine public support for science. How can you demonstrate a high standard of research conduct and encourage others to do the same?

This course takes an interactive, discussion-based approach, allowing students to benefit from a wide range of perspectives on ethical issues and real-world scenarios. You will walk away ready to model and advocate for high ethical standards despite pressures to do otherwise. 

This course takes place over 14 weeks (see summary below for topics covered.) Coursework is a combination of pre-readings, short assignments (1- 1.5 hours per week), and interactive virtual discussions for 14 weeks. We use the online resource “Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research” by Nicholas Steneck as our main text.

This course is best suited for graduate students, post-doctorates (within 5 years of graduation), research staff members, and lab technicians and meets the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training requirements for NSF, NIH, and USDA NIFA grant applications. NIH grants state, “acceptable [RCR training] programs generally involve at least eight contact hours.”

Learning Objectives:​​

  • Gain a clearer focus on ethical issues that arise in research.
  • Develop strategies for upholding personal ethical standards in research.
  • Increase awareness of research policies and the need for compliance.
  • Learn how to deal with research misconduct by others.
  • Build skills to succeed in mentoring, collaborating, publishing, and reviewing. 

Is this course right for me?

  • ​​This course is aimed at students and research professionals in all stages of their careers
  • This course fulfills NIH, NSF, and USDA NIFA training requirements. 
  • Each week, participants can expect to spend about 1-1.5 hours on pre-reading and assignments followed by a one-hour virtual discussion session
  • In order for the course to be effective, we require all attendees to come to the live discussions ready to focus, share perspectives and experiences, and be on camera. ​

Completion Requirements: 

To receive a Certificate of Completion toward NIH, NSF, and USDA NIFA training requirements, attendees must: 

  • Participate in class discussions
  • Meet 80% class attendance
  • Complete 80% of all assignments

Course Topics:

​Week 1
​Course Introduction: What is RCR?
​Week 2
​Research misconduct: "The Lab" video
​Week 3
​Real cases & causes of misconduct
​Week 4
​Week 5
​Human and animal subjects
​Week 6
​Conflict of interest
​Week 7
​Data management and security
​Week 8
​Export control and permits
​Week 9
​Mentor and trainee responsibilities
​Week 10
Creating safe research environments 
​Week 11
Collaborative research 
​Week 12
Authorship and publication ​
​Week 13
Peer review​
​Week 14
​Constructive intervention


The instructors have led this course at Iowa State University annually for the past 14​ years, using online and in-person formats. ​​  ​

​Mark Gleason
Professor, Iowa State Universit​y​
Leonor F. Leandro
Professor, Iowa State University

2023 Course Fee 

  • APS Student, Early Career, or Undergraduate Members: $79 
  • APS Members: $99 
  • Non-Member: $199 

Tuition Includes:

  • An opportunity to learn from experts and peers in the field​
  • Certificate of completion to include in your RCR plan
  • All required readings and educational materials 
  • Relationship-building opportunities 

​Cancellation Policy

Registration cancellations MUST be made in writing and received no later than January 5, 2023 and are subject to a $25 cancellation fee. Registration cancellations received after January 5, 2023, are NOT subject to a refund. If the association cancels this course, your registration fee will be refunded in full. By registering for this course, you agree to the cancellation and refund terms and conditions.​ 

​​Questions? Contact: 

The American Phytopathological Society ​​​
3285 Northwood Circle, Suite 100 
St. Paul, MN 55121
Telephone: +1.651.454.7250 
Fax: +1.651.454.0766 
E-mail: apshq@scisoc.org​