Ethics in neuroscience graduate training programs: Views and models from Canada

S. Lombera, J. Illes, A. Fine, R.E. Grunau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Consideration of the ethical, social, and policy implications of research has become increasingly important to scientists and scholars whose work focuses on brain and mind, but limited empirical data exist on the education in ethics available to them. We examined the current landscape of ethics training in neuroscience programs, beginning with the Canadian context specifically, to elucidate the perceived needs of mentors and trainees and offer recommendations for resource development to meet those needs. We surveyed neuroscientists at all training levels and interviewed directors of neuroscience programs and training grants. A total of 88% of survey respondents reported general interest in ethics, and 96% indicated a desire for more ethics content as it applies to brain research and clinical translation. Expert interviews revealed formal ethics education in over half of programs and in 90% of grants-based programs. Lack of time, resources, and expertise, however, are major barriers to expanding ethics content in neuroscience education. We conclude with an initial set of recommendations to address these barriers which includes the development of flexible, tailored ethics education tools, increased financial support for ethics training, and strategies for fostering collaboration between ethics experts, neuroscience program directors, and funding agencies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalMind, Brain, and Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2010

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Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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