Beth Fischer

Beth A. Fischer, PhD

Director, Survival Skills & Ethics Program
Assistant Professor of Health Policy & Management
University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Fischer has a diverse background combining training in chemistry, communication, and a PhD in Education (University of Pittsburgh) with 10 years of experience as a research assistant in a neuroscience laboratory. She has worked full time on the Survival Skills and Ethics Project since 1993, and has extensive experience in developing, offering, and evaluating educational programs for individuals ranging in level from undergraduate students to senior faculty and administrators.

She lectures regularly at the University of Pittsburgh on topics including obtaining funding and employment, writing research articles, giving seminars, and the responsible conduct of research (RCR). She has run over 150 invited workshops on these topics, including a series of 5-6 workshops offered annually for intramural postdocs at NIH (1996-2005). She is particularly interested in promoting scientific capacity in low-resource environments. She has provided training to researchers in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas and she is a Visiting Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, China where she co-teaches a 3-week for-credit course for graduate students on Communication Skills for Scientists.

Dr. Fischer was an invited “expert” at the NIH Responsible Conduct of Research Expert Workshop, and was a member of the NIH/Office of Research Integrity Working Group on Expanding Education in the Responsible Conduct of Research. She served as a consultant to the Institute of Medicine’s Committee that produced Integrity in Science (2002), and has served on a number of NIH special emphasis panels charged with evaluating R01 applications on “Research on Research Integrity.” She served on the Society for Neuroscience’s Working Group on Professional Development, and also assisted that Society in developing a code of responsible conduct in publishing. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Selected publications: The first article in the list provides a comprehensive description of the Survival Skills & Ethics Program, including the rationale behind it.

Fischer BA and Zigmond MJ. Promoting Responsible Conduct in Research through “Survival Skills” Workshops: Some Mentoring is Best Done in a Crowd. Science and Engineering Ethics, 2001, 7:4, 563-587.

Fischer BA and Zigmond MJ. Educational Approaches to Discouraging Plagiarism. Journal of Urologic Oncology, special section on plagiarism, 2011, 29:1, 100-3. [Link to Abstract]

Fischer BA and Zigmond MJ. The Essential Nature of Sharing in Science. Science and Engineering Ethics, 2010, 16:4, 783-799.

Fischer BA and Zigmond MJ. Helping students get into graduate school. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, Fall 2004, 3:1, A4-8.

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