PIBS 504: Rigor, Reproducibility and Transparency

PIBS 504 (Rigor, Reproducibility and Transparency) is taught every Winter term.

The course is designed to meet NIH guidelines for RRT training.

In Winter 2024, PIBS 504 will consist of two 50-minute class sessions. The format is a combination of lecture and large-group discussion.

Session 1: Thursday, March 7th, 4:00-4:50 pm (location TBD)

Session 2: Thursday, March 14th, 4:00-4:50 pm (location TBD)

To receive passing credit in PIBS 504, trainees must attend both sessions, or submit make-up assignments for any missed sessions. Further details and instructions will be posted on the course Canvas site.

Topics Covered in PIBS 504

In accordance with NIH training guidelines, discussion topics include:

    • Transparency in research
    • Blinding and randomization
    • Biological and technical replicates
    • Sample size, outliers and exclusion criteria

Additional relevant topics to be discussed:

  • Transparency in data presentation
  • Reagent verification
  • Sex as a biological variable

Note: PEERRS-RCRS (the online research ethics course) does not satisfy NIH rigor and reproducibility training requirements. Talk to your advisor, training program director or NIH program officer about the specific training requirements that apply to you.

For Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training offered by OGPS, see the PIBS 503 course page.

How to Register

Graduate students:

In Wolverine Access, register for PIBS 504 (1 credit, graded S/U) in the Winter term. All registrants will have access to the course Canvas site.

Postdoctoral fellows, K99/K08 awardees, UROP students, PREP Scholars, and all other trainees who are not graduate students: 

  • Fill out this online form by March 1st. You will be added to the PIBS 504 Canvas site for the Winter term. Trainees who miss the March 1st deadline cannot take the course in the current term.
  • Do not register for the course in Wolverine Access.
  • There is no fee for this course.
  • You will not receive a grade. The course will not appear on your transcript.
  • You can request a certificate of completion from Debra Butler, PIBS 504 Course Coordinator (


Questions about PIBS 504: email
Course Coordinator: Debra Butler
Instructor and Course Director: Scott Barolo