Course Format & Dates

All Virtual
​Weekly Assignments: Reading, reflection, discussion posts (~one hour per week)
Weekly Class Sessions: Interactive and discussion-based

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

January 17 – April 24, 2024​​​​

​​​​​​​**No class on Wednesday, March 13**​​​​


Registration is now closed.

Click here to be notified when the 2025 course registration opens. 

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. 

We meet via Zoom one hour a week for 14 weeks and use the online resource “Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research” by Nicholas Steneck as our main text. Each class session has approximately one hour of pre-work to complete and turn in prior to the next class. This course also includes ample small-group discussion around case studies and short readings. 

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.”

See what past attendees have to say

“Take this class even if you feel that you would never commit any type of research misconduct. You could be in a situation where you accidentally commit an act of misconduct. You'll most likely have to deal with a situation where someone else commits misconduct or needs to help a friend or colleague deal with a misconduct situation.”​​

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

“This course should be mandatory for young scientists to protect them from any research misconduct and to stay honest and safe in their future careers.”

Course Outcomes

  • 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. 

​Completion Requirements

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

  • 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

R​egistration Fee 

  • APS Student, Early Career, or Undergraduate Members: $79 
  • APS Members: $99 
  • Non-Member: $199 (includes ​6 months of access to the APS Community)

Tuition Includes

  • An opportunity to learn from experts and peers in the field​
  • Certificate of completion to include in your RCR plan
  • Educational materials 
  • Private discussion forum in the APS Community
  • Relationship-building opportunities 


2024 Registration is now closed 


Cancellations MUST be made in writing and received no later than January 3, 2024 and are subject to a $25 cancellation fee. Registration cancellations received after January 3, 2024, 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.

Expected Behavior

We are dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form. We ask all attendees, exhibitors, speakers, sponsors, volunteers, guests and other participants be considerate and respectful to all members and refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech. Please note, if you register a guest for the meeting, you may be held responsible for the actions of the guest. Violations of this policy should be reported to meeting staff. 
APS reserves the right to remove any individual from attendance or other participation in any APS sponsored event without prior warning or refund, and to take additional action as determined necessary, up to and including expulsion from participation in APS. Any course of action recommended by APS is final.

​​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​