Research Integrity and Research Ethics

Research Integrity and Research Ethics
Catherine Fieulleteau
Ethics Integrity Manager
Research Integrity
The University conducts high quality,
innovative research and is guided by the
principles and standards outlined in The
Concordat to Support Research Integrity,
Research Governance Framework for
Health and Social care and other
Source: The Concordat to Support Research Integrity, 2012:
Research Integrity
The core elements of research integrity
 Honesty in all aspects of research.
 Accountability in the conduct of
 Professional courtesy and fairness in
working with others.
 Good stewardship of research on behalf
of others.
Source Singapore Statement, 2010:
Research Integrity
• Demonstrate openness and
transparency when reporting results;
including sharing negative results.
• Acknowledge all contributors who had
significant involvement in the
• Comply with all legal, ethical and
contractual requirements.
Source: The Concordat to Support Research Integrity, 2012:
Experienced and New
• Both senior researchers and new researchers
should understand their responsibilities.
• Researchers should be aware of and keep
actively up-to-date with research integrity issues.
• Comply with legal and ethical requirements when
conducting or collaborating in research in other
countries. Both UK and the legislation of the
other countries must be observed.
In the 20th century significant abuses prompted action
to improve the governance of research ethics.
Nazi atrocities and medical research conducted on
human beings without informed consent. This includes
drug testing and scientific experimentation.
Increased research governance means an explicit
discussion of ethical concerns will be conducted
before a project is approved.
When is ethical approval
• Research involving human participants –
including simple, anonymous questionnaires,
interviews, focus groups, observations and
taught courses/practicals.
• Human data, personal, sensitive data – even if
anonymised, may require ethical approval.
• Raises social and environmental issues.
• Research on animals.
Why is ethical approval
 Protects the safety and well-being of
research participants.
 Protects researchers.
 Ensures you conduct your research to high
ethical standards. Protecting integrity of
 Informed consent (written where possible)
or recorded verbal consent.
 Meet the criteria of funding
UEL Ethics Committees
 University Research Ethics Committee (UREC)
reviews research involving:
• human subjects submitted by staff and PGR
 School Research Ethics Committees (SRECs)
review applications for ethical approval
submitted by:
• undergraduate and taught Masters students.
Source: UEL Research Ethics web page:
UEL Ethics Committees
UREC, SRECs and CRECs are made up of a Chair,
Deputy Chair and subject area representatives
reflecting the mix of School disciplines within each
Each discipline at UEL has a SREC that reviews
applications for ethical approval.
Staff and students conducting research with human
participants must obtain ethical approval. UEL does not
grant retrospective approval.
What does UREC look for?
Design of the study – rationale, hypothesis
Expertise/experience of researchers
Benefits of the research – present or future?
Recruitment of participants – approach.
Risks to participants minimised.
Informed consent!
Compliance issues – DPA, DBS and legal
Recruitment Documents
Information Sheets (I.S.):
Given in advance.
Lay language and age appropriate.
I.S. for each group of participants. In writing
(preferable) or script to be read.
 Emphasise that participation in the study is
 State right to withdraw and deadlines for
withdrawal of data, normally up to the point of
 State whether you hope to publish the data.
Recruitment Documents
• Consent Forms:
• Given in advance.
• Must obtain consent from relevant authorities and
gatekeeper organisations.
• Included in application provide:
• Researchers should provide:
• Draft interview topic guide, copy of
questionnaire(s), permission letters and adverts
for the study.
• Apply for ethical approval in good time!
UREC Process
Applications made to UREC are required to use UREC
application form and template recruitment documents.
One hard, ink-signed copy of the full application,
including recruitment documents should be submitted.
One electronic copy of the full application form in PDF
format should be emailed to [email protected]
UREC will not accept applications that do not bear an
ink-signed signature.
Source: UEL Research Ethics web page:
SREC Process
• Condensed version of the research ethics
application form.
• Recruitment documents are still required.
• Each SREC has its own procedures for
granting ethical approval.
• Supervisors should be aware of the
processes. Consult the SREC Chair for
Research requiring NHS
 NHS Research Ethics Committees (RECS) review research
 Patients, users of the NHS and their carers.
 Patients who fall under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
 Research governed by Human Tissue Act 2004
 Social Care Research Ethics Committees review all social care
research funded by the Department of Health.
 UEL acts as sponsor.
Responsibilities of staff and students
 Be aware of their responsibilities.
 Ensure that they have the necessary training, time
and resources to carry out that role.
 Request support, if required.
 Research staff and students, at all levels, are
expected to comply with all legal, ethical and other
requirements or guidelines that apply to research.
UEL Code of Practice for Research, June 2013:
• Research Integrity Modules.
• Ethics Integrity Manager - provides training and guidance.
Drop in sessions held at both Campuses for staff and
• External training provided.
• Chair of UREC – runs PGR and staff research ethics
• Updates available on the web page, research ethics blog
and UEL’s inFocus magazine.
Advice and Support
Research Ethics Department in
Graduate School.
0208 223 6683
[email protected]
University of East London
EB1.43, Docklands Campus
4-6 University Way
London E16 2RD
Useful references
 UEL Site:
 IRAS Site:
 The Concordat to Support Research Integrity:
 European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity:
 Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care.
Second edition, Department of Health 2005
 A Framework of Policies and Procedures for University Research
Ethics Committees. The Association of Research Ethics
Committees, 2013

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