The ESRC has announced the latest revision of its Framework for Research Ethics.
The framework for research ethics was introduced in 2006 to provide guidance to ESRC-funded researchers, organisations, research ethics committees (RECs) and other interested parties, on ethics in social science research. The latest version is presented in a more accessible web format and includes a revised set of principles and how they apply to researchers, research teams and research organisations. Professor John Oates FAcSS – who is part of the Academy’s own Ethics project – was on the ESRC group that produced this new revision.
The ESRC expects that the framework guidance and principles will be followed by all individuals and organisations engaged in ESRC-funded research and may be of wider value to other research-related audiences.
Key aims of the framework are to encourage:
- consideration of the balance and proportionality of individual rights (for example respect, trust and privacy) alongside the benefits of research to individuals and society.
- researchers to think ethically about potential issues and consequences throughout the lifecycle of the project and seek the advice from their REC and other expert support as needed.
- research organisations’ commitment to ethics training for researchers and REC members and to support RECs in fulfilling their role and maintaining their independence.
- RECs to support researchers throughout the research lifecycle and carry out proportionate ethics reviews considering both the benefits and risks of the research.
The framework can be accessed at www.esrc.ac.uk/researchethics
Ethics case studies can be accessed at www.esrc.ac.uk/funding/guidance-for-applicants/research-ethics/ethics-case-studies
Enquiries and submission of ethics case studies should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org