Project Background

Project Background

The Need

In a recent report in Nature, Dr. James DuBois, P.I. Program Director, and his collaborators explained why researchers were referred to remediation training. The researchers were successful investigators who had stumbled in complying with federal research rules or standards for research integrity. Many of the causes stemmed from failures in leadership, such as poor communication, inadequate training of staff, and not prioritizing compliance with research guidelines.1

In a recent study reported in the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, Dr. Alison Antes and colleagues interviewed 32 NIH-funded genetic researchers at a top-tier biomedical academic institution. They asked what skills were needed other than scientific expertise to be successful in research, and 97% stated leadership or management skills. Just 10% felt prepared for these responsibilities at the start of their careers. Although leadership is essential to good research, we know very little about it.2

The Broader Research Agenda

Dr. Antes’ research is funded by a career development grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute entitled “Fostering Integrity and Societal Impact in Genomics through Management and Leadership Practices” (K01HG008990). Her research focuses on the intersection of leading a research lab and conducting high-quality, high-impact research with integrity. She seeks to identify the leadership practices and needs of researchers, and ultimately aims to develop evidence-based, practical resources to assist researchers with meeting the leadership and management demands of their work. Dr. DuBois serves as her mentor for this project, and they collaborate on additional research in the Professional and Social Issues Lab.

1. DuBois, J.M., Chibnall, J.T., Tait, R.C., & Vander Wal, J.S. (2016). Lessons from Researcher Rehab. Nature, 534, 173-175.
2. Antes, A.L., Mart A., & DuBois, J.M. (2016). Are Leadership and Management Essential for Good Research? An Interview Study of Genetic Researchers. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics. doi: 10.1177/1556264616668775. (Quotes from project homepage found here.)

Washington University in St. Louis