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Research Ethics Project


 

What’s new

We are pleased to announce that, following two years of consultation, we will be launching a new Research Ethics Risk Framework in September 2022. This framework provides a structure to identify ethical risks within a research project/activity. The risk status assigned to your application will then trigger the appropriate internal review process. 

Why is this needed

Research at the College has been scaling up over the last few years in terms of volume, complexity and breadth of subject matter. The external research landscape has also shifted and we have to ensure we are compliant with the Concordat to Support Research Integrity. In response to this position in 2020 we established an academic-led Task and Finish group to evaluate our existing research ethics review processes. They produced a findings report and one of the recommendations was to establish a Research Ethics Risk Framework 

 The overall aim of the Research Ethics Risk Framework is to: 

  • help to characterise the level of risk of research projects.  
  • implement more proportionate, efficient and timely review processes; and  
  • supplement research ethics application audit data with the category of risk.   

Next steps

We will be hosting training sessions for researchers (and reviewers) on the Research Ethics Risk Framework in September. Invites will follow at the start of term. Further information on the launch of the Research Ethics Risk Framework and supporting resources can be found on the ethics intranet site. 

Get in touch

If you have any queries please contact Leisha our Research Integrity & Ethics Manager at ethics@rhul.ac.uk  

Essential links and Contacts

Phase One – August 2022- July 2023

  • Use of the new risk framework for review

There will be no visible changes to the process from the perspective of a researcher, what will change is the backend process and  how we review online submission.

Where appropriate mitigation protocols will be available to researchers to reduce high risk projects to medium risk.

  • In March of 2023 there will be a review of the risk frame work

The framework is not intended to be static and will evolve over time. It will be reviewed and updated regularly. The first review will be in March 2023

  • Data collection and review

We will collect data on research projects submitted to the online system to build a picture of the research submitted by risk level

  To provide evidence to support investment

  To identify where mitigation protocols are necessary

  • Development of new system

We will explore in house options to address efficiency, oversight and most importantly the end user experience.

Phase Two – August 2023- July 2024

From August 2023 we will:

  • Roll out of new system for PGR and Staff •Removal of self-certification functionality

Self-certification will be removed, following a transition period (informed by the data collected in 2022-23)

  • Data collection of UG and PGT ethics applications

We will analyse UG and PGT data provided by Schools over the last two Academic  years in order to address impact on current resources

Phase Three – August 2024

From August 2024 we will:

  • Roll out online ethics system for UG and PGT students