Since 2001 ethical discussion and review has been part of the University’s practices. This handbook and the General Ethical Guidelines for Research and Consultancy are designed to facilitate ethical issues in learning and teaching by acting as a reminder of the kind of thinking which is ethically appropriate when new projects in learning, teaching, research and consultancy are developed and when current practices are reviewed.
These guidelines identify the general ethical issues which should be considered by all researchers and consultants within the University – whether they are members of staff, post-graduate or undergraduate students. They should also be considered by those engaged in teaching and learning activities which involve research on human or animal subjects.
The University has in place a standard set of requirements for approving external research requests for the participation of our staff and students in research projects. The documentation requested will ensure that the University is able to make an informed decision whether or not to approve or decline requests received and also ensure that a consistent approach is adopted for all requests.
The Regulations on Research Conduct apply to all members of the institution involved in research. This will include staff and undergraduate and postgraduate students. It also applies to those who are not members of the institution, but who are conducting research on the institution’s premises or using the institution’s research facilities.
UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) is an independent advisory body which offers advice and guidance to universities, other research organisations and individual researchers about the conduct of research.
UKRIO welcomes enquiries on any issues relating to the conduct of research, as well as requests for assistance with specific cases of alleged misconduct. However, although created to provide support to the UK life sciences research community, since their inception they have amassed considerable experience in helping employers, researchers and the public with issues of research conduct across all subject areas.
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), has produced a ‘Framework for Research Ethics’ to support the facilitation of innovative and high quality research and ensure it is carried out to a high ethical standard. This document includes a Summary of Framework for Research Ethics (FRE) which outlines the principles, procedures and minimum requirements the ESRC expects to be addressed in applications they receive and is an example of best practice.
The Human Tissue Act 2004 covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It established the HTA to regulate activities concerning the removal, storage, use and disposal of human tissue. Consent is the fundamental principle of the legislation and underpins the lawful removal, storage and use of body parts, organs and tissue. Different consent requirements apply when dealing with tissue from the deceased and the living. The Human Tissue Act 2004 lists the purposes for which consent is required (these are called Scheduled Purposes).