Program for the Ethical and Responsible Conduct of Science and Scholarship (PERCSS)

The National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation have changed the requirement for instruction in the responsible conduct of research. Washington University’s Office of Research Education and Information (OREI) developed an on-line course to meet these new requirements. Per NIH policy “Instruction must be undertaken at least once during each career stage and at a frequency of no less than once every four years”. In addition to attending the existing Ethics course during the fourth semester of graduate training, students will be required to complete an on-line course, “Program for the Ethical and Responsible Conduct of Science and Scholarship” (PERCSS) in their first year of graduate school and again in the sixth year. DBBS will notify you when and if you are required to complete the modules again. 

PERCSS covers the following topics (See

  • Data Ownership, Acquisition, Sharing and Management
  • Mentor-Trainee Relationships 
  • Research Integrity 
  • Scientist, Society and Environment 
  • Authorship and Publication
  • Collaborative Research 
  • Conflict of Interest 
  • Peer Review

To be in compliance with this requirement all students must complete the PERCSS modules. For instructions to access the PERCSS modules, go to You will need your WUSTL Key to login.

Additionally, if you are an NSF recipient, the policy states you are responsible to a one-time completion of the PERCSS modules and “continuing education consisting of a least one face-to-face education session each project year.” This can be fulfilled by ethic workshops offered by OREI, which offers ethics workshops 2-3 times a year, which faculty, fellows and students are encouraged to attend. 


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