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About the Research Ethics Program

Ethical and responsible research is our collective responsibility, and we are here to support you.

The Research Ethics Program is a campus resource that has served the UC San Diego research enterprise for 25+ years. Founded by Dr. Michael Kalichman in 1997, the REP provides educational resources and consultation service to our campus community, as well as to affiliates of the San Diego Research Ethics Consortium.

The Research Ethics Program is located within the Office of Research Affairs (ORA) and reports to the Vice Chancellor for Research. The ORA supports, facilitates, and promotes UC San Diego research through its units/offices. The Research Ethics Program works closely with several of the ORA units/offices including, for example, Research Compliance and Integrity, Conflicts of Interest and Post-doctoral Scholarship. We also work with the Altman Clinical Translational Research Institute, the Ombuds Office, Academic Integrity and other campus groups that advance the intellectual scholarship and research on ethics including ReCODE Health, the Institute for Practical Ethics and the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology.

In addition to working with campus entities and training students and new faculty to consider the ethical dimensions of their work, we also train department leaders and provide resources to support capacity building efforts within labs and schools/departments.



Over the past 25 years, the Research Ethics Program has educated thousands of students, trainees and faculty. Moreover, hundreds of faculty have contributed to the program by serving on the faculty panels that are part of every Scientific Ethics course. Faculty who serve on faculty panels share their insights with students and provide guidance on how the advance research integrity within their respective labs, school/department and professional service beyond the university.


The REP consultation services are available to clarify ethical challenges, possible courses of action, and strategies for mitigating future challenges. Consultations are a pathway to clarifying and resolving disputes, possible misunderstandings, or misconduct in the practice of research. Consultations might focus on regulated areas of research such as conflicts of interest and research subject protections as well as unregulated aspects of research such as collaborations, mentor/mentee relationships and our societal responsibilities.  


Research is strengthened through the conduct of both normative analysis and empirical research designed to study and inform best practices. Our research, through the UC San Diego ReCODE Health center, has received extra and intramural support for over 20 years. Current research is carried out with support from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Areas of interest include:

  1. creating/testing decision-making tools to support ethical AI/digital health research;
  2. fostering ethical and responsible research environments,
  3. informing participant communications including informed consent and return of results, and
  4. developing ethically sourced health data repositories.