Important communication for PGRs: Code of Good Research Conduct

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Following a recent investigation of an allegation of research misconduct within the Faculty of Humanities we have contacted all researchers to remind them of their obligations to comply with the University’s Code of Good Research Conduct when conducting research. A separate communication has also been sent to all supervisors.

The Code includes the requirements to:

  • Ensure that the design of your research meets the expected standards for research ethics and integrity. You must assess the ethical implications of your research and be aware of your responsibilities to society, the environment, your profession, the University, research participants and the organisation(s) funding the research.
  • Make yourself aware of, and comply with, any legislation or regulations that govern your research.
  • Observe the standards of practice set out in guidelines published by professional societies, funding agencies and other relevant bodies, where appropriate and available.
  • Ensure that your research obtains the appropriate level of ethical screening and approval before commencing.   

These expectations extend to the need to undertake appropriate consideration of sensitive areas including research which:

  • Investigates illegal behaviours, or
  • Investigates highly sensitive, controversial or stigmatised social practices, groups or topics,  or
  • Requires access to materials, websites or other sources related to narcotics, pornography, terrorism etc. that cannot be accessed legally in the UK.

This list is not exhaustive but advice in relation to the last two bullet points can also be sought from

Research involving human participants – including when you are the sole participant, for example when using auto-ethnographic research methods – must follow our procedures for research ethics approval by using the University’s Ethics Decision Tool. This will enable you to identify whether you must gain approval for your research through an application to the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC). Where ethical issues are complex, or it is unclear whether an application should proceed to UREC, advice must be sought from your supervisor in the first instance or the Research Governance, Ethics and Integrity Team. 

Professor Colette Fagan                                                                Professor Nalin Thakkar

Vice President for Research                                                        Vice President for Social Responsibility

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