ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Chronic Poverty Research Centre Methods Toolbox (Resources)0

Posted by Admin in on June 16, 2016

“Despite the growing consensus that poverty is multi-dimensional and complex, a lot of research is based on using approaches and methods that cannot capture a full picture. To deepen the understanding of poverty, much research needs to be multi-disciplinary and involve a mix of quantitative, qualitative and participatory approaches.

This toolbox provides a guide to the variety of approaches and methods available and how they can be mixed to produce both rigorous and policy relevant research. Through identifying further resources (and especially websites) where you can explore methodological tools and issues in greater detail, the toolbox allows researchers to check that their research designs reflect ‘good practice’.

The CPRC Methods toolbox is available to download in full, or by sections below. The document contains links that can be accessed by viewing the Toolbox online.”

Chronic Poverty Research Centre (2001) Chronic Poverty Research Centre Methods Toolbox.

Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) (2016) Principles and Guidelines for ethical research and evaluation in development0

Posted by Admin in on June 15, 2016

“This document is intended to promote and support improved development practice in the areas of research and evaluation, to raise awareness, and to assist in the identification of ethical issues so that well-considered decisions can be made and justified. Ethical principles are considered most important as ethical practice in research and evaluation relies on active self-reflection, discretion, judgement and appreciation of context.

“This document was prepared by Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), in consultation with its member organisations, academic partners and the ACFID University Network. It was developed to assist ACFID members and is aligned with the ACFID Code of Conduct. In particular, the principles proposed here have been developed in line with the values that underpin the work of ACFID members in aid and development represented in this Code of Conduct.

“The principles outlined here are based on and extend existing internationally recognised ethical research
principles and guidance for data collection with human participants. The extensions include an emphasis on cross-cultural elements, power relations, capacity building and understanding the ‘development’ imperative within research practice conducted with and through non-governmental organisations.

“While this document only presents principles, ACFID acknowledges the existing body of experience and
guidance around how these principles may be operationalized. Such guidance to assist with this understanding will be elaborated and offered through ongoing updates under the ACFID Code of Conduct Implementation Guidance. The guidance will incorporate the principles outlined here while offering advice on obtaining informed consent, privacy and confidentiality, assessing, minimising and managing risks as well as guidance on how to support ethical research practice with particular vulnerable groups including children, people living with a disability etc. This guidance is expected to be updated on an annual basis through consultation with ACFID members”

Access the Principles and Guidelines

Brazilian ethics clash exposes science culture gap – SciDevNet (Carla Almeida May 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on June 6, 2016

Speed read

Rules on human research mainly created for biomedical research

Social scientists pushed for changes so rules meet their needs

Political upheaval in Brazil looks set to delay new rules being signed off

Bureaucracy is an old enemy of Latin American science. The difficulty of importing research material — cell culture for example — and the maze of red tape that researchers must address are real obstacles. They can make research unviable and have slowed the progress of science in the region.

The past few years have seen various attempts to reduce bureaucracy. As part of this, Brazilian human and social scientists have pushed for changes in the ethical and legal framework of all types of research involving human beings, an issue that has caused discontent among these researchers.

The issue is not that they oppose the ethical principles, such as respect for human dignity and the protection of research subjects, which guide these regulations. Rather the point is that the rules, created primarily to regulate biomedical research, do not meet the specific needs of social science.

The main concern is that the system imposes the same rules for two different kinds of research: research into human beings, for example to develop and test new drugs, and research with human beings, which uses ethnography, observation and interviews to understand social behaviour.

The situation is aggravated by the entire system falling under the remit of the National Health Council, part of the ministry of health. Both the council and ministry are made up mainly of representatives from the medical sciences. As well as judging the ethical implications of research projects, the council has been judging their scientific merit too, and this includes projects outside the medical field and so outside their expertise.

Read the full news story

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Human Research Ethics Resource Manual (SoTL Manual)0

Posted by Admin in on June 5, 2016

In 2014 the Commonwealth Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) commissioned AHRECS to undertake work to help OLT grant-holders and fellows avoid unnecessary difficulties and delays during research ethics review.

We identified several contributing factors to these problems including:

  1. the inexperience of some Scholarship of Teaching and Learning researchers in approaching human research and human research ethics review;
  2. the unfamiliarity of some research ethics reviewers with standard practices in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; and
  3. the absence of resources relating to the ethical design and review of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research.

The OLT contracted AHRECS to produce a resource manual to support the ethical decision making of the researchers that it funded. It also wanted to assist other SoTL researchers and research ethics reviewers with the ethical review of SoTL research.

The AHRECS SoTL Manual is comprised of six complementary booklets that include academic references, recommended reading and prompts for ethical reflections. The booklets are practically focused and include example problems/suggested strategies.

The Manual is available from the OLT web site, and a copy is hosted on the AHRECS site below.

Booklet 01 SoTL Manual: Research ethics and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Booklet 02 SoTL Manual: Ethics review and grant or fellowship funded research

Booklet 03 SoTL Manual: Risks and benefits in SoTL research

Booklet 04 SoTL Manual: Recruitment and consent in SoTL research

Booklet 05 SoTL Manual: Privacy and confidentiality in SoTL funded research

Booklet 06 SoTL Manual: Ethical challenges and practical strategies

The SoTL Manual applies, references and complements the University Research Ethics Manual commercialised by Griffith University. It is however possible to use the SoTL Manual without purchasing a UREM license.

The six booklets of the SoTL Manual are provided here as *.docx on an open license basis for use by researchers, research ethics reviewers, research office staff, and institutions.  If you want to use more than one paragraph of text from the SoTL Manual (e.g. as the basis of a new resource), we ask you to cite the SoTL Manual as a source including the fact that the SoTL Manual was commissioned by the OLT and produced by AHRECS.

Allen, G, Israel, M and Thomson, C (2016) Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Human Research Ethics Resource Manual. Sydney: Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching.

Please direct any questions about the SoTL Manual or the UREM to Dr Gary Allen ( You can find out more about the work of AHRECS at

Please note that we have found that sometimes links from Word documents to our web site can return an error. This is an intermittent bug, all six booklets are on the AHRECS site, and the links are correct.