Integration of RCR and Ethics Education into Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences in the Biological Sciences: A Needed Discussion†
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AbstractCourse-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have been identified as a promising vehicle to broaden novices’ participation in authentic scientific opportunities. While recent studies in the bioeducation literature have focused on the influence of CUREs on cognitive and non-cognitive student outcomes (e.g., attitudes and motivation, science process skills development), few investigations have examined the extent to which the contextual features inherent in such experiences affect students’ academic and professional growth. Central among these factors is that of ethics and the responsible conduct of research (RCR)—essential cornerstones of the scientific enterprise. In this article, we examine the intersectionality of ethics/RCR instruction within CURE contexts through a critical review of existing literature that details mechanisms for the integration of ethics/RCR education into undergraduate laboratory experiences in the science domains. Building upon this foundation, we propose a novel, evidence-based framework that seeks to illustrate posited interactions between core ethics/RCR principles and unique dimensions of CUREs. It is our intent that this framework will inform and encourage open dialogue around an often-overlooked aspect of CURE instruction—how to best prepare ethically responsible scholars for entrance into the global scientific workforce.