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Virginia Tech receives funding to integrate research ethics education into international STEM collaborations


BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 25, 2012 – Virginia Tech is one of five universities to be awarded funding by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) to integrate research ethics education into international collaborations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. 

Supported by a $398,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation, the CGS project will enhance the preparation of future scientists and engineers for the ethical challenges that often arise in global research.

“Increasingly, graduate students need to have a strong awareness of cultural norms and research policies around the world,” said Karen DePauw, vice president and dean for graduate education. “The ability to resolve complex issues that arise in international research is critical to the success of U.S.-trained scientists and engineers. Through this project, we will help prepare students for research integrity as they pursue international research and work in culturally diverse research settings.”

The other four institutions involved in the project are Emory University, Northern Arizona University, University of Puerto Rico-Reo Piedras, and the University of Oklahoma.

The five universities will develop projects to define learning outcomes and curricular content in research ethics education in STEM collaborations. CGS will work with the five institutions to develop common tools to assess the impact of the projects and identify best practice guidelines that will be shared with other schools.

Six additional schools will participate in the project as affiliate partners. They are Drexel University, Indiana University, Loyola University, Mississippi State University, North Carolina A&T University, and Purdue University.

The Graduate School at Virginia Tech promotes graduate education as a critical component in the transmission of new knowledge, research, ideas, and scholarship. It is responsible for the development, administration, and evaluation of graduate education throughout the university, providing support to faculty, staff, and more than 6,000 graduate students. The Graduate School is committed to building a diverse graduate community and vibrant intellectual environment to help prepare graduates to lead. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.