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Promoting Access to Science Careers: Training Faculty to Teach Professional Development and Research Ethics

Fischer, Beth A (2007) Promoting Access to Science Careers: Training Faculty to Teach Professional Development and Research Ethics. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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In the United States, graduate programs in the biomedical sciences are designed to provide individuals with the training necessary to pursue an independent career in research. The curriculum typically involves a combination of coursework, in which students obtain depth and breadth in the subject matter of their discipline, as well as extensive practical experience planning, conducting, and analyzing original research. However, in order for individuals to develop into successful professionals, there is an additional set of abilities they need to cultivate: they must develop a set of general professional skills, including the ability to publish their work, give research seminars and other types of oral presentations, obtain employment and secure funding, balance multiple responsibilities, and behave responsibly. Traditionally this information has been transmitted primarily through interactions between a student and their advisor or mentor. However, this seems inefficient, at best, and it places a disproportionate burden on women, minorities, and first-generation professionals, who often have less access to mentoring than their male counterparts. Since 1995, the Survival Skills and Ethics Program at the University of Pittsburgh has offered an annual conference designed to prepare faculty to implement courses on these essential skills. A follow-up survey of participants (1995-2003) was conducted in 2004; the aims were to determine what instruction had been implemented, ascertain the barriers to implementation, and examine how much participants felt the conference contributed to their abilities to provide the training. The instruction implemented varied widely in terms of the duration and the number of students taught; on average, participants provided 37 hr of instruction to 87 students annually. Finding time to devote to teaching was, by far, the greatest barrier to participants implementing courses in professional skills and ethics. Most participants felt that the conference significantly enhanced their ability to provide such instruction. In sum, these data indicate that this trainer-of-trainers program was an effective mechanism for disseminating a curriculum designed to promote the socialization of students to the practice of science. These results have implications for optimizing trainer-of-trainer programs and reducing barriers to the implementation of instruction in professional development and the responsible conduct of research.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Fischer, Beth Abfischer@pitt.eduBFISCHER
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBickel, William Ebickel@pitt.eduBICKEL
Committee MemberWeidman, John Cweidman@pitt.eduWEIDMAN
Committee MemberRicci, Edmund Memricci@pitt.eduEMRICCI
Committee MemberLakoski, Joan Mjlakoski@hs.pitt.eduJML27
Date: 29 January 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 20 October 2006
Approval Date: 29 January 2007
Submission Date: 8 December 2006
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: academic scientist; higher education; mentoring; research ethics; socialization; trainer of trainers
Other ID:, etd-12082006-025756
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:09
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:53


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