Skip directly to content

Minimize RSR Award Detail

Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Purdue University
  • Justin L Hess
  • (317) 612-4276
  • Andrew O Brightman
Award Date:07/28/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 341,093
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 341,093
  • FY 2021=$341,093
Start Date:09/01/2021
End Date:08/31/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Collaborative Research: Standard: Exploring the Variation in Understanding and Experiences with Ethical Engineering Research among Faculty in Biomedical Engineering
Federal Award ID Number:2124953
DUNS ID:072051394
Parent DUNS ID:072051394
Program:ER2-Ethical & Responsible Res
Program Officer:
  • Wenda K. Bauchspies
  • (703) 292-5034

Awardee Location

Street:Young Hall
City:West Lafayette
County:West Lafayette
Awardee Cong. District:04

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Purdue University
Street:701 W Stadium Ave
City:West Lafayette
County:West Lafayette
Cong. District:04

Abstract at Time of Award

Engineering faculty prepare engineering students for ethical research conduct and practice. Thus, it is important to identify how faculty understand ethical engineering research because these perceptions influence how they teach ethics to their students. It is especially important to focus on biomedical engineering (BME) because biomedical engineers play a critical role in promoting the health and well-being of the public and must confront novel ethical issues associated with emerging technologies, such as genetic engineering, stem cell technologies, rapid COVID detection, and vaccine development. In this work, we seek to investigate how BME faculty understand ethical engineering research and how they reached those understandings. Using these findings, we will then be able to design better educational strategies to prepare BME students for ethical research. We will collaborate with BME faculty interested in BME ethics through a Community of Practice (CoP) and in partnership with the Online Ethics Center (OEC). This CoP will provide perspective on the research findings and will help translate the research findings into actionable educational practices for use at CoP participants’ specific institutions and throughout the nation. Sharing the research findings and these educational practices through the OEC will provide the BME community with appropriate educational tools to prepare future biomedical engineers for ethical BME research and practice, which will in turn help future engineers better promote the health and well-being of society. Faculty act as stewards of culture in their research groups and departments and play a significant role in ensuring ethical research conduct and practice within these contexts. Thus, identifying the variation in how faculty experience and understand ethics can inform the development of valid strategies to establish and maintain ethical cultures in engineering departments and research groups. Due to the significant role of BME research and development products on the health and well-being of the public, it is imperative that we understand how to train ethical engineering researchers in this specific discipline. Yet, strategies for training BME faculty and students to effectively engage with ethical challenges remain unclear. To derive empirical insights on effective approaches to cultivating ethical cultures of BME research, we believe it is necessary to study the specific challenges and variations in ways BME faculty members across programs experience, understand, and practice ethical engineering research. In this work, we will (1) use phenomenography to identify the variation in ways BME faculty across the US experience ethical engineering research, (2) use critical incident technique to identify the critical factors that influence these ways of experiencing, and (3) use design heuristics as a lens to generate educational approaches appropriate for fostering cultures of ethical engineering research in BME. Throughout the project, we will engage a CoP of BME faculty and students from a diverse set of research institutions across the US who will reflect on findings; thus, the CoP will help validate emergent findings and identify effective strategies that may be diffused across this STEM community to guide related efforts at cultivating cultures of ethical research. This project will generate new knowledge that reveals the range of variation in experiences with and understandings of ethics and ethical research cultures among BME faculties as well as critical experiential and cultural factors that have shaped those understandings. This new knowledge will guide approaches to fostering ethical cultures of research. Finally, integrating this new knowledge within a CoP will ensure effective transfer of research into practice, which will benefit society by ensuring biomedical engineers graduating from these programs are prepared to respond effectively to the critical ethical issues of BME research and practice. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

For specific questions or comments about this information including the NSF Project Outcomes Report, contact us.