ESRC Framework for Research Ethics – new revision published

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 ethics@esrc.ac.uk

 

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