Stanford University
Postdoctoral Scholars

The Responsible Conduct of Research

Goals and Objectives

The Responsible Conduct of Research course (MED 255) is designed to engage participants in productive discussions about ethical issues that are commonly encountered during their research careers. This course is required for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who are supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, and many departments and programs also recommend this course as part of their curricula.



Due to popular demand, this course will now be offered throughout the academic year, with three sections Fall Quarter, five sections Winter Quarter, and four sections Spring Quarter. Each section will have seven class meetings, with the dates determined by the individual instructor.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) - Med 255 links:

Course Policies
Course Schedules

Class Arrangements

Each class will be limited to 25 participants and will usually meet either in MSOB or CCSR. Readings will be posted each week on the Center for Biomedical Ethics web site (under information for MED 255) and should be read before each class meeting. Case studies that build upon the readings will be handed out at the beginning of each class session and will serve as the basis for discussion.

Participants who miss a class will be required to write a three-page paper on the subject of the class that was missed.


Medical students and graduate students should register for MED 255 using Axess. Other participants, such as postdoctoral fellows, medical residents, or faculty should e-mail Paula Bailey at to register. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is no longer handling registration. Sections will be closed when the enrollment reaches 25 registrants.

More information about the course, including lists of required reading for each session and make-up policies, is hosted online by the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics (SCBE).

Stanford Medicine Resources:

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