The University of Edinburgh has a commitment to promote and facilitate the conduct of ethical research.
In line with this policy the School of GeoSciences attaches great importance to addressing the ethical implications of all research activities carried out by its members, be they undergraduates, postgraduates or academic members of staff. Attention to the ethical and legal implications of research for researchers, research subjects, sponsors and collaborators is an intrinsic part of good research practice.
A new School-wide ethics approval form is now in place to help researchers anticipate issues that might arise in their research. Beyond the form, the school policy on research ethics emphasizes improving ethical awareness as part of a broader collaborative commitment to cultivating professional research training. For example, undergraduate and postgraduate students undertaking ethics reviews of their research proposals are supported by class-based discussions of ethics and/or mentoring from their supervisors. Similarly, academic members of staff can use the Ethics Committee as a sounding board and resource for their applications. And, of course, all researchers have access to this web information, which seeks to provide details on ethics background and procedure, as well as access to relevant forms. This pro-active approach is designed to anticipate and offset problems and heighten awareness of ethical issues at the very outset of the research design process.
This article was published on Dec 9, 2010