In February 2011, the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) launched “The Lab,” an interactive training video on the handling and prevention of research misconduct in laboratories. Each week, hundreds of learners watch The Lab, which is available for free on the ORI website. With the success of this program, ORI has joined forces with the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) to pursue the development of a second training product. This time, the focus is on clinical research and social science research.
"A large percentage of allegations of misconduct received by ORI involves clinical research," states John Dahlberg, the director of the ORI Division of Investigative Oversight. "It makes perfect sense to invest in a product that may help reduce questionable practices in this area."
The new training video delves into the lives of four playable characters including a clinical research coordinator (CRC), an MD/PhD principal investigator (PI), an IRB chair, and a research assistant. Each character faces challenges typical of their positions, and the learner has the opportunity to make decisions that affect the outcome of the story. This immersive technique has been shown to be an effective and engaging learning method in healthcare, military, and academic in settings.
The main story centers on a cancer study that examines the effectiveness of a new drug. Dr. Richard Sowers, the PI, must balance the responsibilities of a caring oncology doctor, leading a research staff, and following research regulations. The CRC, Jan Klein, is an overworked nurse who is responsible for managing several studies with tasks involving recruiting patients, performing consents, collecting and recording data, and managing technicians. The IRB Chair, Dr. Marcy Rosenberg, must make difficult choices handling studies that deviate from protocol. The final character is Megan Boyle, a new research assistant who navigates through research protocols for studying quality of life outcomes for cancer patients.
ORI plans to release a beta version that includes the clinical research coordinator scenario in early 2013. The full version is expected for release in October 2013.