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Case Study: Beginning a Collaboration

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ORI Introduction to RCR: Chapter 8. Collaborative Research

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Sharon, Ben, and Terra met during a late-night discussion at a professional meeting. They share a common interest in learning disorders but come from different scientific backgrounds. Sharon works at the cutting edge of brain imaging technology. Ben is an educational psychologistinterested in pre-school children in inner cities. Terra has been putting her knowledge as a physiologist to work exploring the effects of alternative medicines.
As late night turns to early morning, the newly met trio begins to see benefits from working together and starts sketching out a grant proposal. The scientific ideas quickly fall into place, but some of the logistics raise questions that need answers.
  • Who should submit the proposal, through which university?
  • Do all three need to get IRB approval to work on the project?
  • What will happen if their work has practical applications?
  • How should they go about answering these questions?
  • Are there other important questions that should be asked as well?