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The School Research Ethics Committee. Welsh School of Architecture. The Ethics Committee. Since Summer 2008 there is a School Research Ethics Committee in place in the Welsh School of Architecture

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The School Research Ethics Committee

Welsh School of Architecture

the ethics committee
The Ethics Committee
  • Since Summer 2008 there is a School Research Ethics Committee in place in the Welsh School of Architecture
  • The Ethics Committee is set up to monitor ethical standards of ‘social’ research within WSA via formal procedures
  • Only applies to research that involves human participants, human material, or human data
  • Other research does not need formal approval from the Ethics Committee (!)
the ethics committee3
The Ethics Committee
  • Receive research proposals involving human participants, human material, or human data from students and staff of WSA
  • Consider any ethical issue that might arise from carrying out this type of research
  • To decide whether
    • the research should proceed as planned
    • Advice on how it may be modified to do so
the ethics committee4
The Ethics Committee
  • The Ethics Committee is established …
  • …to aid and support staff and studentresearchers in maintaining exemplary ethical standards in research within the School
  • …and to foster a culture among staff and students that is sensitive to ethical considerations where research with people is concerned.
why an ethics committee
Why an Ethics Committee?
  • To promote a culture that ensures that the safety, well-being, and dignity of research participants is assured
  • To have formal procedures in place to monitor and assess the ethical standards of research within WSA (involving human participants…)
why an ethics committee6
Why an Ethics Committee?
  • It is Cardiff University Policy to have formal ethics review procedures in all schools thatconduct research involving human participants, human material, or human data
  • Many research funding bodies (including the Research Councils) require statements on University research ethics review procedures as part of the research grant application.
  • Increasingly, journals only accept papers if the research has received formal ethical approval 
issues to consider
Issues to Consider
  • Anonymity or Confidentiality
  • Valid Consent
  • Providing Information
  • Vulnerable Groups
anonymity and confidentiality
Anonymity and Confidentiality
  • Research should be anonymous where possible
  • If no need for name or address, don’t ask!
  • Where you do need personal information, you have a duty of confidentiality
  • Needs to be made clear to participant
  • If you want to use or publish personal information (e.g., name) you need explicit (written) consent from the participant!
  • Consider confidentiality with data storage and/or how to anonymise data
consent
Consent

Three types of consent:

  • Imputed(assumed consent, but not sought; without an explicit action by respondent; legally questionable)
  • Implied(e.g., filling out questionnaire; action (of filling out) by respondent implies consent )
  • Expressed(for any procedure that carries an element of risk)
    • Oral
    • Written
providing information
Providing Information
  • Valid consent is more than acquiring a signature
  • Consent is only valid if the respondent:
    • enters into the research freely and willingly
    • knows and understands the research they are participating in
    • and is allowed to withdraw at any time (without having to give a reason)
  • You have to give clear information what you are asking participants to do, what the research is (used) for, and what their “rights” are
providing information11
Providing Information
  • You always have to give sufficient information to the participant
  • Without appropriate information there is no valid informed consent
  • The validity of consent mainly depends on the adequacy of the explanation to the participant (…), and not merely on the acquisition of a signature
what consent when
What Consent When?
  • If the research is anonymous, does notcarry arealisticriskof harm, and does not involve vulnerable groups, then oral consent (or even implied consent) would suffice.
  • If the research is not anonymous, then written (or recorded) consent would be “good practice” (and will probably be requested by the Ethics Committee)
  • If research involves vulnerable groups, then written consent is always needed (!)
vulnerable groups
Vulnerable Groups
  • Vulnerable Groups
    • Children (under 16 years of age)
    • People with learning difficulties
    • Patients
    • People in custody
    • People engaged in illegal activities

(tricky to get written consent!)

    • Vulnerable elderly
vulnerable groups14
Vulnerable Groups
  • Working with Children under 16 years
    • Researcher has to check and comply with any legal requirements (e.g., vetting procedure for working with children)
    • Always needs written consent from parents, guardians, or those in loco parentis
    • Older children are expected to give consent in the same way as adults
    • Younger children should also be able to understand what the research is about and that participation is voluntary
making an application
Making an Application
  • Fill out the Ethics ApprovalForm and attach relevant documents
  • Member of Staff or a MPhil/PhD Student
    • Full application
  • Undergraduate or Masters Student
    • Includes a “Fast-Track” Procedure
applications by students
Applications by Students
  • Use the Ethics Approval Form for application
  • Append all necessary documents
    • clear description of the research project (methodology!)
    • a copy of the research materials (e.g., questionnaire)
    • an information sheet for participants
    • a consent form and/or a debriefing form (where appropriate)
  • The supervisor will initially assess whether the research has (1) negligible, (2) some, or (3) significant ethical implications
  • Sign and date the form (student/supervisor)
  • Submit to the Ethics Committee
applications by staff phd
Applications by Staff/PhD
  • Use the Ethics Approval Form for application
  • Append all necessary documents
    • clear description of the research project (methodology!)
    • a copy of the research materials (e.g., questionnaire)
    • an information sheet for participants
    • a consent form and/or a debriefing form (where appropriate)
  • Sign and date the form (student/supervisor)
  • Submit to the Ethics Committee
how the committee decides
How the Committee Decides
  • The Ethics committee is guided but not bound by guidelines of relevant professional organisations (e.g., RIBA, RGS, BPS, BSA)
  • Guided by general principle of ethical research (Universal Ethical Code for Scientists)
  • Guidance given by specific funders (e.g., ESRC)
  • The most important issues are: anonymity-confidentiality, consent, informing participants, and vulnerable groups
  • Committee will either approve (with/without minor amendments), ask for resubmission, or reject proposal
the ethics committee24
The Ethics Committee
  • The committee consists of a Chair, Secretary 2-4 academic/staff members, 1 student member
  • Current Membership:
  • Chair Wouter Poortinga
  • Secretary Katrina Lewis
  • Staff Mike Fedeski Chris Tweed Andrew Roberts Juliet Odgers
  • Student Karin Bronstering
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More information

http://www.cf.ac.uk/archi/ethics_committee.php