In this terrific post, Jess Carniel of the University of Southern Queensland, reflects on research ethics committees engaging with researchers in discipline areas not included in core membership of a committee.
Jess Carniel is Senior Lecturer in Humanities in the School of Humanities and Communication, UniSQ.
She is also Deputy Chair of the USQ Human Research Ethics Committee and an Executive Member of the Centre for Heritage and Culture.
AHRECS agrees with and supports the approaches and ideas she discusses in this post.
We agree that the role research ethics committees should be approached positively to resource practice, rather than from within a bureaucratic frame to police research compliance with rules intended to constrain research practice.
The need for ethical guidance for research other than human research or animal-based scientific work
In this post, AHRECS Senior Consultant, Gary Allen, reflects on the fact that some research that does not require research ethics review from a Human Research Ethics Committee or an Animal Ethics Committee involve serious ethical questions that could benefit from guidance and ethical standards.
He uses four topical cases to illustrate why this is an important matter.
(1.) Kennewick Man and the ancient DNA (aDNA) furore – A case where there was an argument about the providence of an ancient body and whether it was subject to First Nation considerations.
(2.) Karl Andersson’s Masturbation Over Child Porn autoethnography project – A case that raised concern and commentary about the ethical oversight of research where there is potential for public harm.
(3.) Myanmar Amber Studies – A question about researchers purchasing amber samples from the country of Myanmar, when there are concerns that the revenue could be used to fund human rights abuses.
(4.) Artifical Intelligence Ethics Review – The use of Artificial Intelligence can have the potential for discrimination of marginalised communities and individuals. Given this potential for harm, it has been asked if there is a need for some form of ethics review of this work.
In this very practical talk, AHRECS senior consultant, Gary discusses the positive and constructive ways in which a research ethics committee Chair can set the tone of the meeting.
Committees can, and should, have a role beyond the normal operational tasks (e.g. confirmation of the minutes), research ethics review (including the framing of review feedback) and involvement in the institutions approach to professional development for its research community.
The Chair has an essential role in regards to how the committee utilises national and institutional guidance material that frames the conduct reviews and the ethical design/conduct of research projects.
They can usefully also guide the committee towards constructive handling of matters such as conflicts of interest and typographical errors in the material submitted to the committee.
AHRECS has considerable experience in working with research institutions in this area, including mentoring for Chairs and Secretaries, coaching for committees and professional development.
In this incredibly helpful and practical post, Erich von Dietze (a senior consultant at AHRECS) reflects on the considerations, benefits and potential challenges when trying to structure your ethics committee (whether human research or Animal Ethics).
Like many matters in research governance (especially Human Research Ethics and Animal Ethics), there is no simple answer that is always right. Saving time and impediments in one area, can create more and introduce delays in another.
Erich discusses the options and explores the issues that require consideration.
Getting this right can mitigate against unexpected member absences, committee continuity and maintain the expertise and readiness of members.
Acting rashly can cause problems, take time and use up resources.
This item is a recommended read for research office staff, a secretaries, committee chairs and members.
In this short post AHRECS consultant, Amanda Fernie discusses the animal ethics services that AHRECS now provides and are experienced in, in this complex and important area of research governance.
Amanda is one of the recent additions to the AHRECS team.
She brings considerable experience as someone who has worked as an animal ethics officer and as a manager of a Research Ethics and Research Integrity team.
Even more than is a case for Human Research Ethics, Animal Ethics is an area that cannot be purely approached as a matter of technical regulation where researchers and institutions must comply with relevant laws and ethical codes. This is NOT a useful approach to Animal Ethics. It also unlikely to prompt researchers to approach the topic in a way that it thoughtful, reflective and engaged.
Considering matters such as the sufficiency of environmental enrichment and techniques is not merely a matter of whether a proposed approach complies with the law. It requires a far more thoughtful reflection on animal welfare and respect. What was appropriate 20 years ago is unlikely to be acceptable now.
The AHRECS team brings together considerable experience and insight into international best practice.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss how we can assist your institution.
The Western Australian Human Research Ethics workshop series is back for 2022.
Friday 30 September 2022 – Human Ethics workshop
Interacting across boundaries: applying human research ethics in different situations.
The workshop is being hosted by the Research Office at Notre Dame University, Fremantle, in conjunction with AHRECS (Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services).
8.30am registration, 9.00am start, concluding after lunch.
Notre Dame Campus, Tannock Hall, Fremantle WA
Cost $170.00 per participant
There is an online registration available to persons based outside of Western Australia. On request, a special discount code for Zoom-only registration can be provided – please contact email@example.com if this interest you.
In this post, Erich provides an overview of the event, the guest speakers and the components of the workshop.
Register at . On request, a special discount code for Zoom-only registration can be provided – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if this interest you. The online component is open to registrants outside Western Australia.
In Australia or another country outside of Africa, would institution link to material about Ubuntu ethics? Especially if the institution isn’t doing a great deal of research in Africa.
In this post, Gary reflects on the argument that material should be included in an institution’s Human Research Ethics resource library, even if doing so, won’t be necessary to archive compliance with the national ethics guidelines/standards/regulations. In fact, he argues that precisely because it is not required, they should be included.
Gary refers to a podcast and a journal article that have recently been included in the AHRECS resource library, as examples of material that should be included in institutional resource libraries.
The point here is that material should be included if it would support excellent ethical conduct, irrespective of whether it would help demonstrate that the institution complies with the national standards – such as the National Statement in Australia.
During 2021 and 2022, AHRECS has been compiling an animal ethics team and we were thrilled when Dr Amanda Fernie joined our team. She is both an experienced researcher, a very experienced animal ethics officer and a former manager of a research and research integrity team at a large Australian university.
In this post, she discusses the animal ethics services AHRECS now provides, as well as the support we have been providing and the contribution we are making in the animal ethics sphere.
This is an excellent discussion of the range of services that AHRECS provides
For example, AHRECS has considerable experience in the design and delivery of professional development in the animal ethics space.
If you are interested in engaging AHRECS for us to assist with your institution’s animal ethics needs, send an email to email@example.com or alternatively you can contact Erich Von Dietze on firstname.lastname@example.org. Erich is the senior consultant who is leading our experienced animal ethics team.
Samaritans UK: Developing ‘fit for purpose’ research ethics processes within a large third sector organisation
In this post, Simon Anderson (AHRECS Associate) and Liz Scowcroft (Head of Research & Evaluation, Samaritans UK) discuss the history of research ethics policy and research ethics review at Samaritans (UK).
Part of this discussion reflected on moving beyond arrangements that are very similar to those used by higher education institutions toward something better suited to the needs of the 3rd Sector.
This requires a clear understanding that the designs, outputs, objectives and needs of a significant portion of research that is conducted internally to the 3rd sector is different and needs different Solutions.
A proportional approach to research ethics review and related processes have been adopted by Samaritans, as well as widening of the definition of research and a whole of institution commitment to research ethics.
Simon and AHRECS were delighted to work with Samaritans to produce a blueprint for constructive change.
Send an email to email@example.com if you would like to discuss how we could assist your institution.
When we talk to research higher degree candidates and early career researchers about publication
I dare you? iDARE involves a team of designers and visual and performing artists
When it comes to research integrity, the international community often tends to focus on