Research ethics – protecting research participants
Research ethics is a vital element of research integrity, together with the scientific rigour of a project and the conduct of the researchers. In particular it concerns the safeguarding of any participants in the research.
Why is research ethics important?
Any research that involves human participants or identifiable personal data has ethical implications. At City, we affirm that human participants, animals and the environment must be protected from harm. All research must follow that principle, regardless of the discipline or subject matter of the research.
Research ethics at City
City is committed to ensuring that all research is conducted so that it
- protects the rights, privacy and welfare of participants and their personal data, and
- minimises risk to participants, researchers, and the institution.
Even if the research is deemed to be low risk, researchers must consider issues such as data protection, confidentiality and anonymity. Research projects must also comply with an increasing number of professional and legal requirements.
City's Research Ethics Committees oversee all aspects of the ethics of research involving human participants and personal data carried out in the institution or under the auspices of the institution, by its Schools, staff or students.
Research projects must obtain ethical approval before the research commences. City's indemnity will not cover research without approval. Failure to obtain approval may also result in disciplinary procedures being instigated.
There can be no exceptions, exclusions, retrospective approval or blanket permissions in any circumstances.
Our research ethics governance
City operates a framework of delegated authority, with City’s local Research Ethics committees in Departments/Divisions/Schools, all reporting to the Senate Research Ethics Committee.
Research ethics committees are not normally charged with reviewing the design and methodology of research projects. Occasionally, they have to consider them in order to assess the risks and benefits of a project. If a study design does not adequately attain the stated aim of the investigation, then no benefit can be anticipated from conducting the study. There is therefore no justification for inconveniencing people or potentially placing them at risk.
Read more about the approval process for research ethics at City