MCDB 499 - Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship in Biology
Winter 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB)
Department: LSA Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Prior or concurrent enrollment in MCDB or EEB 300.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
Mandatory credit/no credit.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/5/22 - 4/19/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


This course is designed to meet current federal regulations requiring all students conducting research in NIH or NSF funded laboratories receive training in responsible conduct of research (RCF). This course will focus on topics of particular relevance for the natural sciences. The course will cover:

  • appropriate citation of sources and avoiding plagiarism
  • authorship and publication practices and responsibilities
  • acquisition, management, ownership and sharing of data
  • research misconduct, including data fabrication and falsification
  • personal, professional and financial conflicts of interest
  • supervisory and mentoring relationships and responsibilities
  • responsibilities of collaborative research protection

During this course, students are expected to acquire an understanding of:

  • what constitutes scientific misconduct: falsification, fabrication and plagiarism (FFP);
  • responsibilities as an independent researcher to conduct studies ethically;
  • the ethical dilemmas of research and how to navigate them;
  • the dynamics of the Faculty/Student Researcher;
  • policies and procedures for data management and ownership;
  • how to fairly acknowledge contributions to research in publication and presentations;
  • the nature and ethics of peer review;
  • the definitions of conflicts of interest and how to manage them; and,
  • appropriate design and implementation of research with animals or human subjects

Course Requirements:

Attendance and participation in classroom discussion is mandatory and are the primary basis for credit. In many, but not all classes, students will be asked to work in small groups and produce collaborative online documents summarizing the group discussion and responding to problems posed by the instructor. It is important for the students to complete the class readings in advance and come prepared to discuss the readings and participate in group discussions. Grades will be assigned on a “Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory” basis and attendance will be taken in every class. Students who miss a class for an approved reason will be asked to write a short paper outlining a controversy or discussing an issue relevant to material covered in class. Students who fail to read the assigned materials and or fail to participate in class may be required to write a similar paper or risk receiving an “Unsatisfactory” for the course.

Intended Audience:

While this course is designed to meet current federal regulations requiring all students conducting research in NIH or NSF funded laboratories receive training in responsible conduct of research (RCF), it will also be useful to any student interested or involved in scholarly research in biology.

Class Format:

2-hour seminar, 1x/wk. in the half-term or 1-hour seminar, 1x/wk. in the full term.


MCDB 499 - Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship in Biology
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
F 2:00PM - 4:00PM
1/5/22 - 4/19/22
Note: The first meeting of MCDB/EEB 499 will be held on January 14, 2022.

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for MCDB 499.001

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for MCDB 499 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)