Great efforts are being made to provide training in appropriate research practices, but less is said about how trainees should be treated and how this treatment will affect the ethics they will absorb from the research environment rather than from the ethics training. Research laboratories by definition create tension between the productivity needed on a project that is essentially the intellectual property of the faculty investigator and the goals and needs of the trainee for education. After examining issues involved in how trainees are recruited to laboratories, the authors discuss some of the ethical problems that routinely arise in the laboratory setting. The faculty preceptor has clear obligations to trainees, such as assistance in the development of the trainee’s research work, ongoing supervision, feedback, and interaction, training in oral and written presentations, and mentoring in complex issues of contemporary science. Increasing commercialization of research presents additional difficulties for both preceptor and trainee. Finally, both are concerned with issues of completion and separation, about the end of the training relationship and the beginning of the trainee’s professional career. The authors conclude that it is not enough to rely on the traditional approach of transmitting ethical and technically valid research practices “by example”—being a preceptor now carries with it an obligation to inculcate these standards consciously and systematically.