Expanding Graduate Training in RCR: Big Data Ethics

    Project Overview


    An increasing number of research disciplines and industry leaders embrace big data approaches as they pursue research questions and project development. However, the methods used to assemble large datasets, and their applications in decision-making contexts, challege existing ethical paradigms for data management, data integrity, human subject protections, and data use. In many fields, for example, aggregating data from different sources can make privacy protections for human subjects more complex, and raise questions about data ownership. Unfortunately, current attempts to identify and address these challenges are often focused within specific disciplines or corporate settings and offer little opportunity to integrate these evolving ethical concerns within master's and doctoral programs. 


    To address the increasing use of big data in graduate student research and to prepare graduate deans as leaders in graduate training within their institutions, CGS and its partner, PERVADE (“Pervasive Data Ethics for Computational Research”), have received funding from the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) and Elsevier to host a virtual workshop in April 2021. This workshop will convene thought leaders from the big data ethics community and graduate deans from research-intensive institutions to identify ways graduate deans can augment and influence the training of graduate students in meeting the challenges of using big data methods in their research. Workshop goals include identifying specific ethical challenges that arise from the use of big data methods in graduate student research, critiquing existing resources for training, identifying potential levers for change, and formulating strategies for deploying and embedding resources for big data ethics within the RCR training curriculum.



    Press Release


    CGS and PERVADE to Convene Thought Leaders on Ethical Issues in Big Data Research


    Conference Information


    Because of the uncertainties surrounding the resumption of public gatherings and travel, CGS and its partner PERVADE have moved this event to a virtual format and will hold the event from April 12-14, 2021. The workshop will identify ways to enhance and influence the ethical training graduate students receive when using big data methods in their research and is supported by funding from the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) and Elsevier. 

    Conference Resources

    Visit the Elsevier website to access several relevant reports:




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    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.