The proposed study seeks to explore a new direction for research and education in research integrity, within one of the most collaborative research environments of the 21st century: Clinical and Translational Science Award sites. During the last decade, there has been a growing body of research on research integrity (IOM, 2002), yet very few studies have been carried out specifically within collaborative translational research. In addition, most of what has been learned has relied upon expert opinion with only a few empirical investigations. Likewise, very little is known about how research integrity education is organized and delivered within collaborative, translational research, nor is there consensus on appropriate goals, behavior change strategies and evaluation metrics (Kalichman and Plemmons, 2007). The overall goal of this quantitative and qualitative study is to move in a more systematic, evidence-based manner toward the design of interventions that can effect measurable improvements in research integrity within collaborative, translational research. To begin progress toward that long-term goal, immediate aims are to: (1) describe the societal, organizational, group and individual factors that enhance and undermine research integrity within collaborative, translational research settings (2) identify both educational and organizational strategies currently employed, as well as those strategies that might be better suited, to promote research integrity within collaborative, translational research. A total of 108 interviews will be conducted with investigators (n = 48) working on pilot studies, novel methods awards, and incentive awards that have been made to junior and senior researchers in the original 12 CTSA sites and with educators (n = 60) responsible for teaching research integrity across all currently funded CTSA sites. In addition, we will draw on a rigorous and validated approach to behavioral intervention design, called Logic Model Intervention Mapping (Bartholomew et al., 2006). This approach will guide data synthesis and enable us to sketch the first conceptual model, of which we are aware, of how multi-level factors undermine or enhance research integrity within collaborative, translational science. This conceptual model will help to set a new direction for future research and behavior change efforts in research integrity in collaborative science.
(provided by applicant): This study will examine what factors enhance, or undermine, researchers'ability to maintain honesty in the ways in which they conduct research. It will take place within a set of research centers, where scientists who do laboratory work are expected to collaborate with researchers who conduct human studies. Findings will help to improve professional education of scientists and enhance research integrity among scientists.