All students who participate in ISA programs are trained in the responsible conduct of research.

All ISA students (Science Alliance, LSAMP, and MARC) are required to complete the University of Iowa CITI training certificate.  Students who are MARC fellows funded by the NIH are required to have more training, including several hours of in-person training. Whenever ISA offers the additional MARC trainings, all ISA students are invited to participate on a voluntary basis. Occasionally, students from other programs such as Post-Bac programs or Summer REUs may also be invited to the trainings. Please contact Lori Adams for any questions about the R3 training program.

MARC Program Training

The NIH strives to exemplify and promote the highest level of scientific integrity, public accountability, and social responsibility in the conduct of science. The application of rigor ensures robust and unbiased experimental design, methodology, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of results. When a result can be reproduced by multiple scientists, it validates the original results and readiness to progress to the next phase of research. This is especially important for clinical trials in humans, which are built on studies that have demonstrated a particular effect or outcome. (NIH Enhancing Reproducibility through Rigor and Transparency website). 

The following plan is designed to educate UI MARC trainees and ensure the quality and integrity of research carried out at the UI. UI MARC trainees will receive a combination of in-lab training, online training, and face-to-face workshops with facilitated discussion in the following areas:

  • Rigor, critical thinking and objectivity in scientific study design
  • Reproducibility through transparent documentation of appropriate research methodology
  • Responsibility of scientists toward the research community and society

Rigor and Reproducibility trainings will encompass these four subjects and/or other similar subjects:

  1. Transparency: accurately and openly providing all key information on the design, execution, and analysis of experiments
  2. Blinding and Randomization
  3. Sample Size, Outliers, and Exclusion Criteria
  4. Biological and Technical Replicates

Online training: MARC Fellows funded by an NIH training grant are required to complete the CITI training certificate in responsible conduct of research within one month of starting the program.

Face-to-face training: Students will be expected to attend a Winter Retreat focused on the responsible conduct of research as well as three additional hours of face-to-face training on the principles of rigor and reproducibility. Two trainings will be offered per semester.

In-Laboratory Training: A mentored lab experience is foundational to understanding the principles of responsible, rigorous and reproducible conduct of research. Laboratories will be responsible for reviewing policies regarding conflicts of interest, animal/human subjects and safe laboratory practices, handing research misconduct, authorship and publication, best practices for data acquisition and management.  Faculty, research assistants, and graduate students serving as lab mentors will guide trainees on proper and established reagents, cell lines, specialty chemicals or other resources used in their specific laboratory experiments and research. Mentors will also instruct trainees in various methods of recordkeeping, data sharing and transparency in reporting.