Ethics and Survival Skills Syllabus

Winter 2021


Registration information can be found here.

This course of 30 hours consists of ten meetings each of 3 hours (9-11:50am). Until further notice it will be conducted over Zoom.

Cognitive Science / Neurosciences / Pathology / 241 / Anthropology 271


Michael Kalichman, Ph.D. 
Director, Research Ethics Program, 0612 

Philip Van Saun, 
Director of Risk, Security & Resilience, UC Office of the President 

Course Website

Who is the course for?

The course is open to the UCSD community. Although primarily intended for trainees in the experimental sciences, much of the material is relevant to other academic disciplines as well.

Course Objectives

The purpose of this course is to provide research trainees with an introduction to skills and resources relevant to successful careers in academia and with an opportunity to read, consider, and discuss the responsible conduct of science. The course is designed as an option for meeting current NIH and NSF requirements for training in the responsible conduct of research. On successful completion of this course, students will:

  1. know more about rules, issues, options, and resources for survival skills and ethics
  2. understand the purpose and value of ethical decision-making 
  3. have a positive disposition toward research ethics

Course Format

Course topics will be covered by a combination of lectures, readings accessible on the Web, discussion in class, written assignments, and Web-based assignments. Attendance, participation in discussion groups and completion of assignments will be the basis for credit. NOTE: The course schedule or organization may be changed if necessary to better achieve the course objectives.

Credit and Grading

This course is available for credit (i.e., pass/fail and/or a certificate of completion), not for a letter grade. To receive credit, you must complete all assignments, including attending all class meetings, and participating in class discussions. If you need credit for this course, but find that you cannot meet these requirements, then you should contact one of the instructors as soon as possible.

For a complete listing of assignments and due dates, please check the Assignments page.

Resources for Ethics Course

This document is provided as a starting point for resources on the topic of research ethics. While it is not intended to be comprehensive or definitive, it does include many options that should be helpful. 

For additional information on course registration, please see this pageUntil further notice, this course will be offered online only. Please email if you have any questions 


Course Schedule - Winter 2021


January 6

Introduction, Overview of Course: Kalichman

Introduction to Scenarios:Van Saun

January 13 Current Events: Kalichman

Choose Groups; Faculty Panel Questions

January 20 Publication and Peer Review: Ajit Varki

Practical Introduction to Scenarios: Van Saun


January 27

Crucial Conversations: Cheryl Lloyd

Scenario Prep 1

February 3 Whistleblowing: Judy Bruner

2 minute talks: Kalichman

February 10

Metrics: Allegra Swift

Faculty Panel

February 17

Job Talks: Steve Swanson

Scenario Final Prep

February 24

Purely Academic: Emily Roxworthy

Sexual Harassment: Emily Roxworthy
March 3

Scenarios 1, 2, and 3

March 10 Scenarios 4, 5, and 6