Program Overview

Program Elements

There are three elements to the program. Completion of elements (1) and (2) are required for candidacy, and (3) is required for graduation.

  1. JPE 600: A 6 hour core seminar in scholarly integrity, supported by the Laney Graduate School in collaboration with the Emory Center for Ethics. Participation in this seminar will be recorded on the student’s transcript.  
  2. Program-Based Instruction: A minimum of 6 hours of program-based ethics material. The disposition of this discussion time is at the program’s discretion. These discussions may take place within existing courses, such as methodology or professionalization courses. They may also take the form of faculty-led workshops or journal clubs. The intention of this part of the program is to promote student discussions with their own program faculty and to integrate explicit attention to ethics into the regular course of graduate education.
  3. JPE 610: All doctoral students must attend at least 4 JPE 610 sessions. Students can register for these sessions individually through the JPE 610 webpage, and successful attendance and participation will be recorded on the student’s transcript. These sessions can be completed after candidacy.

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of the JPE, students will be able to:

  • Explain the disparities in values that create ethical dilemmas.
  • Justify the importance of responsible engagement in scholarly inquiry.
  • Identify ethical challenges as they arise during research, training, and professional life.
  • Implement a process for addressing ethical issues.
  • Respect disciplinary codes of conduct, institutional policies, and global standards in scholarly inquiry.
  • Locate resources for ensuring ethical practices in a variety of contexts.

Areas of Scholarly Integrity

  • Data Management: Accepted practices for acquiring and maintaining research data. Proper methods for record-keeping and electronic data collection and storage in scientific research. Includes defining what constitutes data; keeping data notebooks or electronic files; data privacy and confidentiality; data selection, retention, sharing, ownership, and analysis; data as legal documents and intellectual property, including copyright laws.
  • Mentoring: The responsibilities of mentors, advisors and students in graduate study and research. Includes the role of a mentor/advisor, responsibilities of a mentor/advisor, conflicts between mentor/advisor and trainee, collaboration and competition, selection of a mentor/advisor, and abusing the student - mentor/advisor relationship.
  • Authorship: The purpose and importance of scholarly publication, and the responsibilities of the authors. Includes topics such as collaborative work and assigning appropriate credit, acknowledgments, appropriate citations, repetitive publications, fragmentary publication, sufficient description of methods, corrections and retractions, conventions for deciding upon authors, author responsibilities, and the pressure to publish.
  • Peer Review: The purpose of peer review in determining merit for research funding and publications. Includes topics such as, the definition of peer review, impartiality, how peer review works, editorial boards and ad hoc reviewers, responsibilities of the reviewers, privileged information, and confidentiality.
  • Collaboration: Research collaborations and issues that may arise from such collaborations. Includes topics such as setting ground rules early in the collaboration, avoiding authorship disputes, and the sharing of materials and information with internal and external collaborating scholars.
  • Human Subjects: Issues important in conducting research involving human subjects. Includes topics such as the definition of human subjects research, ethical principles for conducting human subjects research, informed consent, confidentiality and privacy of data and patient records, risks and benefits, preparation of a research protocol, institutional review boards, adherence to study protocol, proper conduct of the study, and special protections for targeted populations, e.g., children, minorities, and the elderly.
  • Animals: Issues important to conducting research involving animals. Includes topics such as definition of research involving animals, ethical principles for conducting research on animals, Federal regulations governing animal research, institutional animal care, and use committees, and treatment of animals.
  • Scholarly Misconduct: The meaning of research misconduct and the regulations, policies, and guidelines that govern research misconduct in federally funded institutions. Includes topics such as fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism; error vs. intentional misconduct; institutional misconduct policies; identifying misconduct; procedures for reporting misconduct; protection of whistleblowers; and outcomes of investigations, including institutional and Federal actions.
  • Conflict of Interest: The definition of conflicts of interest and how to handle conflicts of interest. Types of conflicts encountered by researchers and institutions. Includes topics such as conflicts associated with collaborators, publication, financial conflicts, obligations to other constituencies, and other types of conflicts.
  • Ethics of Teaching: Ethical obligations of a teacher, appropriate student-teacher relationships, privacy, confidentiality, setting boundaries, ethical implications of material selection, safe spaces and critical discussion, ethics of grading, letters of recommendation.
  • Public Scholarship: Understanding the social or environmental impact of a research project, communicating with stakeholders, communicating results to the public, the ethics of community action research, the social value of scholarship, science, and research.


In Spring 2008, the Council of Graduate Schools put out a call for proposals that sought to “develop educational models for promoting responsible conduct of research and integrity in professional scholarship, education, and research.” One of five projects selected for funding, Emory’s response was guided by three principles:

  1. To integrate education in research ethics and integrity into the graduate curriculum.
  2. To develop students’ skills of critical reflection about problems of scholarly integrity.
  3. To increase knowledge of standards, regulations and best practices with respect to ethics and scholarly integrity.