About the Institutes

The goal of each responsible science activity (i.e., Educational Institute) is to develop a network of faculty in a region (or country) who are knowledgeable about responsible science and who can educate others using active learning pedagogical techniques.

Life scientists, chemists, physicists, physicians, nurses, and many other collegiate-level researchers/educators take part in a program for up to 18 months. They first attend a 5-day-long Educational Institute on responsible science, an immersive learning experience constructed to educate on  three  core  themes:  the  development  of professionalism in science, conducting research responsibly, and being part of the responsible scientific community. These themes are explored using the techniques and practices of active learning, which challenge the attendees to teach their fellow scientists by employing critical thinking, intellectual rigor, creativity, and the spirit of experimentation that defines modern scientific research. The Educational Institute uses a diverse collection of active learning and assessment techniques – diverse both in the goals and methods used and in the audiences we strive to reach – to engage the attendees in learning.

Following the institute, attendees are able to competitively apply for modest funds to help them implement teachings of responsible science in their home institutions. Successful grantees engage in diverse educational activities exploring a variety of topics on misconduct, authorship, collaborations, biosafety and dual use issues, and more.

A reunion meeting at the end of the program brings together the grantees to provide assessment and feedback and discuss with the program faculty and staff their experience from implementing activities in their home institutions.

Six 18-month-long Educational Institutes have been held to date: three regional Institutes in the MENA; one  in South and Southeast Asia; a combined program in Egypt composed of 2 institutes (2 opportunities for funds and one combined reunion was led by Egyptian alumni of previous regional MENA activities), and a shorter 4-day long Institute in India. Numerous workshops originate from these activities, delivering aspects of active learning and the message of responsible science in a more compressed manner.

U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine staff are supported by a committee of expert scientists and educators from around the globe. Past participants from Institutes are trained to become facilitators and are occasionally invited to new Institutes to teach and lead group work. In addition to these individuals, we also collaborate with a variety of organizations in the countries we work, including: The Great Library of Alexandria (Bibliotheca Alexandrina), Academy of Sciences Malaysia (Akademi Sains Malaysia), Nitte University, TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences), Ain Shams University, Mansoura University, Damanhour University, Cairo University, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute India, Indonesian Academy of Sciences (Akademi Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia), and University of Malaya.

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The materials used at the Educational Institutes are based on The Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching.