Mohawk College CRA program - Research Project Management and Research Ethics, Integrity, and Governance

Robyn Roscoe, BSc, PMP Director, Management and Administration Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (GSC) at BC Cancer

As part of the Certificate in Research Administration program through Mohawk College, I have been delivering two courses since 2018 – Research Project Management and Research Ethics, Integrity, and Governance.

In Research Project Management (or RPM for short), we work through and study key principles such as the project life cycle, as well as cover the 10 knowledge areas as defined by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Students are encouraged to look at projects in their current work, or they can use one of the five project scenarios that I provide, and complete assignments based on these projects to demonstrate an understanding of the topics. There are many assignment opportunities during the course:

  • eight assignments (students must complete three)
  • 14 reflections (students must complete five)
  • weekly discussion topics
  • and critiques - students are provided with an assignment completed by another student, and they provide feedback and evaluation of that assignment (students must complete two). As an alternative to one critique assignment, students may opt to write and submit a blog post to the CARA newsletter.

This course also includes topics on management and leadership, such as team management, effective communication, and relationship building.

In Research Ethics, Integrity, and Governance (or EIG for short), we use the TCPS2 material as a basis for exploring topics such as privacy, risk, research ethics boards, and conflict of interest. We also look at responsible conduct of research, data management, and security (with a guest speaker), research metrics, and touch on sex and gender in research. The structure of assignments for this course is similar to RPM, with many opportunities for students to prepare and submit materials for evaluation and grading.

In both courses, I provide written feedback on all written assignments along with grades, and students may opt to complete additional assignments to increase their overall grade for the course. There are weekly opportunities to meet with me online (virtual office hours), and while these do not have a formal structure and are not mandatory, they are an opportunity to ask questions about material already covered and hear directly from others in the course.

Both courses cover a large amount of material, but at a weekly pace that aims to be manageable. The assignments are not lengthy, and students can plan out their work over the 14 weeks to ensure that they complete sufficient work to succeed in the course.

Both courses start this year on 13 May. I look forward to meeting you then!