School of Divinity

Research Ethics and Integrity

All research undertaken by Divinity students and staff must satisfy key ethical principles.

  • Maximise benefits and minimise risks to individuals and society.

  • Protect research participants by respecting their rights, dignity, interests and values and limit engagement with participants to necessary stated objectives.

  • Obtain the advance voluntary informed consent of participants, keep them appropriately informed throughout a project lifecycle and make them aware that they are free to withdraw at any time.

  • Comply with data protection requirements and respect the participant right to privacy.

  • Meet recognised integrity standards and identify any conflicts of interest.

  • Guard against research misconduct and academic fraud (e.g. results fabrication or falsification, plagiarism).

Ethical review and accountability

All research involving human subjects, including undergraduate dissertation projects and research by postgraduates, is subject to ethical review. This must be conducted at the planning stage and always before the research is undertaken.

The Divinity Research Ethics Committee is responsible for overseeing research ethics and integrity. There is a three-level approach to ethical review, which is designed to be simple to use and only escalates cases where necessary.

If your research is completely 'desk-based' and does not involve participants you do not need to complete an ethical review. However, you may find the Level One self-assessment form useful in order to identify any confidentiality, conflict of interest or political issues. For desk-based research you are not required to submit this self-assessment.

Three-level approach to ethical review

Contact

Amanda Dron, emailĀ amanda.dron@ed.ac.uk