Ensuring Ethical Standards: School Requirements
In recent times, ethical research standards have come to the fore. An increasingly litigious society places individuals and institutions at risk if they interact with people in an inappropriate or otherwise poorly considered way. Any research participant who is harmed; believes they have been harmed; or is thought of by another as having been harmed, has been treated inappropriately. This ‘harm' may arise by gaining poorly-informed consent (or no consent at all); inappropriate data gathering methods; inappropriate analysis and/or reporting of data; inappropriate data handling; the breaking of an ‘ethical contract,' and so forth.
The University requires all academics – be they performing externally funded research, unfunded research, or consultancy – to carefully consider the ethical consequences of their work. All students undertaking research – be they research, postgraduate or undergraduate – must also work with their supervisor to address any ethical issues raised by their investigations.
The University's Ethical Approval (Human Participants) Sub-Committee governs all ethical issues within the institution. They define a procedure by which the implications of research upon its human participations must be evaluated.
All research involving human participants must evaluate its ethical concerns using the University's Ethical Clearance Checklist as a guide. Careful consideration of each question within this checklist will determine the need for a full submission to the Ethical Approval (Human Participants) Sub-Committee for permission to perform the work.
All University Ethical Clearance Checklists must be lodged with Derek Thomson, who will approve them on the Dean's behalf where possible. All Checklists are to be lodged well before any research begins.
For more information, please refer to the Ethical Approval (Human Participants) Sub-Committee's webpages here: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/committees/ethics-approvals-human-participants/. Copies of the checklist, its guidance and other related forms (e.g. a consent form and an information sheet template) are available from the "Additional Information" link on the above page.
Queries regarding ethics and School processes can in the first instance be addressed to:
Derek Thomson firstname.lastname@example.org; 01509 222895; RT.1.17 (email preferred).