Ethical Training and Methodology Requirements

Jones Program in Ethics (JPE)

Laney Graduate School Component:

JPE 600 – 1 day course in August prior to 1st year
JPE 610 – minimum of 4 workshops (offered throughout the year by LGS

Anthropology Component

ANT 500 Proseminar – ethics based discussions as part of course
Teaching Roundtable – ethics related session held every other year
IRB/IUCAC Workshop – ethics of working with human/animal subjects held every other year
For Bio Anthro Students – ANT 555 Research Seminar  - ethics based discussions as part of course

The Department of Anthropology offers graduate students six hours per academic year in department-based training on scholarly ethics. The LGS requirement is that each graduate student will participate in at least six hours of department-based ethics training over the course of their graduate training. Every student must complete the department portion of their requirement through activities performed in at least two years of their graduate program. Students are encouraged to continue beyond the minimum requirements to exceed the six hour minimum of department training. Ethics training is incorporated into the Anthropology Department's regular schedule of activities for graduate students as follows:

A. PRO-SEMINAR: Ethics-based discussions will be incorporated as a regular part of the Anthropology Pro-Seminar resulting in 2 hours of ethics-training credit. Students will participate in ethics discussions with a wide range of faculty in the Pro-seminar since each class period is led by a different faculty member. The scholarly integrity issues covered in the Pro-Seminar will deal with issues of importance to any anthropologist: Human Subjects; Data Management, with an emphasis on sampling representativeness and the importance of clearing outlining how representative study respondents are of the wide population; and Public Scholarship, including “scholarly inquiry vs. application for human benefit”, “ethics of comparative research”, “ethics of funding sources” and “ethical claims in anthropological discourse and debate”. 

B. TEACHING ROUNDTABLE: An ethics-related presentation by department faculty or outside guest speaker will be incorporated into the Department Teaching Round-Table series every other year. This will include an hour-long presentation on teaching-related ethnical issues followed by an hour of discussion. Two-hours of Credit toward satisfying the Scholarly Integrity requirements will be given for attendance and participation.

C. HUMAN SUBJECTS/IRB WORKSHOP: In years when part B is not being offered, the department will host a two hour IRB workshop. Two hours of credit toward satisfying the Scholarly Integrity requirements will be given for participation any one of these workshops. Examples of ethics topics for sub-discipline training include:                                                                 

  • Obtaining consent in other cultures
  • Data security/confidentiality/ownership, including the question of anonymity, starting from the site location on to individual-level concerns related to HIPAA
  • The fair use of other people's data    
  • Ethical dilemmas in providing information and findings to the community where it was collected, where the issue of maintaining individual anonymity can become particularly challenging.
  • "Going native" in the field
  • Power relations between researchers and those being studied
  • Paying for data: the ethics of reciprocity

D. DISCUSSION OF AUTHORSHIP ISSUES FOR BIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGISTS: The Research Seminar In Biological Anthropology will include discussion of issues of authorship that routinely arise in biological anthropology. These include questions such as: who should be an author on a paper, how author order should be determined, and what are rights and responsibilities of authors.

Methodology Plan

During the second semester of the second year, criteria are established for satisfying a methodology requirement tailored to the individual student's research needs. The methodology plan is designed by the student in close consultation with her/his advisor; it may stipulate language training, statistics, laboratory techniques, field methods according to the student's chosen area of interest, and/or a course identified as a methods class or workshop. In addition, all students are required to have training in ethical conduct of research, including IRB or IACUC certification. 

  • Criteria for fulfilling the methodology requirement must be clearly stated in writing using the Methodology Requirements/IRB Training form.
  • Requirements must be reviewed by the student's committee.
  • The approved form must be on file with the department at the end of the second year. Please submit to the Graduate Program Coordinator.
  • By the end of the third year, the advisor should certify the full completion of the methodology requirements by signing off on the form on file.


All research involving living human subjects that you intend to present and/or publish, as well as all research with animals, must be approved by the university before any study begins.

For research with animals: Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee/IACUC:

For research with human participants: Institutional Review Board/IRB:
All IRB protocols are to be submitted electronically via e-IRB. The IRB has two divisions – the Biomedical IRB for invasive protocols and the Sociobehavioral IRB for non-invasive studies that may include low levels of blood draw.

  • Discuss your project plans and application with your advisor well in advance of your projected start date.
  • Schedule time to meet with the IRB help-desk staff if necessary to determine the appropriate level of IRB oversight.
  • Submit your application online via the IRB website (, and supply copies of your application to the Graduate Coordinator.

If applying during the academic year, plan for the approval process to take, at minimum, two months from your submission date to the IRB. If applying in June or after, approval can take longer. To assure approval for a June project start date, your IRB application should be submitted in March

Moreover, researchers submitting for human subjects approval must, in addition to the IRB application, pass the CITI IRB Certification Test before their project can be approved:

Methods, Ethics And Proposal Writing Resources

Students are urged to use departmental and university resources to formulate and meet their methodology criteria and requirements. The partial list below delineates some of the courses and workshops available to the students.

  • Courses with primary focus on methods and proposal writing: ANT 560 Methods and Research Proposal Preparation, ANT 562 Ethnographic Methods and Writing, ANT 575 Biomedical Methods in Anthropology, ANT 585 Field and Analytical Methods in Anthropology, BIOS 500 and BIOS 501 Statistical Methods, BSHE 538 Qualitative Research Methods
  • Courses with a strong focus on methods: ANT 511 Language, Discourse, and Culture, ANT 512 Special Topics in Discourse and Communication, ANT 585/EDS 774 Research Seminar: Linguistic Anthropology of Education
  • Grant writing seminars and workshops such as ILA 782 Proposal Writing and Research Design in the Humanities, GSAS or CSPS sponsored grant writing workshops for students in the Humanities and Social Sciences, or NSF-sponsored methods training
  • IRB or IACUC training and workshops (go to or for more information)
  • Courses with primary focus on research ethics, such as IBS 606: “Values in Science”