In her latest thought-provoking post Stephanie Taplin reflects on social research with children/young adults and the impact of offering them incentives in the form of payments.
These matters have been controversial for research ethics committee and resulted in a block of items in the review feedback from the reviewing committee/s.
Despite the authority provided by the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (NHMRC, 2007, updated 2018) HRECs can be nervous about approving such research with incentives.
Despite this difficulty for reviewers, incentives in the form of payments definitely increases the chances that a young person will respond to a recruitment strategy.
Stephanie’s work has highlighted the degree to which a review body may be more comfortable with the offer of a chance to win and an incentive in a prize draw, at values over ten times as high as the direct incentive payment.
Another area of tension between the preferences of review body and young people is the difference between face-to-face interviews and anonymous questionnaires.
In this post Stephanie reflects on why researchers should engage with HRECs on these matters, rather than choose a path most likely to be accepted immediately by a committee.
In this terrific post, Sara Gottliebsen reflects on the last few years’ experiences in organising the incredibly popular annual human research ethics webinar.
This free event was first conceived of by Gorden McGurk, who has organised the webinars over the last few years.
The Human Research Ethics conferences have established a very high standard for the design, execution, speakers and contents for such an event.
The event received very high praise and deserved to get it.
The itinerary of speakers, events and activities for a free event is simply remarkable and deserving of the highest praise.
Well done Gordon, Sara and the team.
AHRECS is proud to be one of the inaugural sponsors of this event and will be continuing our sponsorship in 2022.
In this incredibly interesting post, Racheal Laugery reflects on an incredibly uncomfortable but very timely question.
Is the current approach to research ethics review fit for purpose?
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, border closes and reduced international student income, insufficient government funding and a drive towards commercial research/commercialisation is our current approach to research ethics review Imbil and responsive enough?
What needs to be challenged and
changed? How can we get there? Who will need professional development and capacity building?
This requires an approach to reform that is focused on research ethics reviewers, researchers and research office staff.
Change won’t be quick and easy, but is absolutely necessary to ensure an institution’s arrangements are fit for the time.
Our approach will need to be interactive and responsive to problems that we can’t foresee yet.
Adele’s Adventures in Wonderland*: Reflections on a 12-year journey in ethics, research integrity and so much more
In this post, inspired by Lewis Carol’s book, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Adele Kay reflects on the wild and wacky (and sometimes surreal) experiences she had in a great career in the human research ethics, research integrity, animal, etc spaces.
She generously shares observations, tips and suggestions how to navigate this space with good humour.
Part of this is reading, interpreting and explaining national frameworks to executive and other senior staff.
She reflects upon useful skills, experience, training and education.
Working for constructive change on these matters from within an institution can sometimes be frustrating and feel a little wacky. Often AHRECS has been brought in to provide an independent and expert opinion on what internal staff have been saying for some time.
We suspect her commentary and experiences will both ring true for experienced practitioners and offer helpful tips.
We greatly enjoyed this post and we hope you will too.
What do HREC members think and do when deciding about children’s participation in social research? Results from the MESSI survey
In this guest post, Associate Professor Stephanie Taplin (UTS) reflects upon the reflections and attitudes of members of a research ethics committee when reviewing a project involving sensitive issues, where the participants are young people.
She reflects upon the degree that this consideration is based upon standards and expectations that are often not transparent to researchers and can be an impediment to useful/important research.
This post is based upon a longer research output that was about research exploring those attitudes.
This included whether there were topics that a research ethics committee member would never approve for a research project to explore with young people.
This work points to the need for specialist professional development for committee members relating to research on sensitive issues with young people.
This also raises the question of what guidance material institutions publish for researchers and for reference by research ethics reviewers.
In this great post, Mark Israel, Julia Miller, Liwen Tan and Kristy Davis discuss the extra challenges that confront international students when it comes to human research ethics and navigating research ethics review and the daunting challenge of satisfying an unsympathetic research ethics committee.
This scary rite of passage is made even harder if your native language doesn’t have direct translations for ethics terminology or if there are cultural concepts without direct correlation.
This is a matter that should be carefully considered by research ethics committees, research offices, international offices and graduate schools.
As both a researcher and a research administrator in healthcare, one of the more vexing issues that I have to deal with on an almost daily basis is how to manage what are termed quality assurance, quality improvement and audit activities. In its 2014 publication entitled “Ethical Considerations in Quality Assurance and Evaluation Activities”, the NHMRC (NHMRC QA guidance) suggests that these can be loosely gathered together under an umbrella term of Quality Assurance (QA) and/or evaluation. I believe this construct is wrong and reinforces a longstanding approach to ethics review that relies on the category of an investigative activity to determine the level of review that is used. This approach is problematic and leads to some significant unintended consequences.
If you build it, they will come- 2020 Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) Training Conference (online) 18-20 Nov
Approximately 2.5 months from inception to execution, a veritable cornucopia of Australia’s thought leaders on topics such as consent, voluntary
Element Zero: What’s missing from the National Statement to support Consumer and Community Involvement in health research?
In this great post, Mark, Deborah and Ciara discuss a useful new element for the National Statement that relates to genuine involvement, input and participation for consumers/community members.
Mark Israel, Deborah Hersh and Ciara Shiggins
Advocates in health research of Consumer and Community Involvement – a concept better known in the United Kingdom as Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) – argue that it offers a way of building knowledge that incorporates the experiences and perspectives of a range of stakeholders, including patients and members of the public. Such involvement can improve the experience for research participants, enhance the process of informed consent, aid research impact and dissemination. It might also avoid the waste of resources on findings that have little relevance to end users or that cannot be implemented…
In this terrific and thoughtful post, Colin Thomson AM, a Senior Adviser to AHRECS, reflects on what we mean when we talk about expertise i the context of Human Research Ethics Review.
Do we mean expertise in ethics, research ethics or ethics review or a combination?
Do they fit together seamlessly and easily or is there an incongruence?
He frames these matters, when talking about research ethics committee members and research ethics reviewers across ten important categories.
He then suggests ten tests that could be usefully applied to evaluate the quality of review feedback.
How your institution’s research ethics committee and its review feedback fare if judged against this criteria?
Is it time they had some professional development? Does the Committee’s standard operating procedures need to be updated?
This is a valuable read for research ethics committee Chairs, Secretaries and members.
Kids tell us that making decisions can sometimes be hard (anyone who has taken
Question for Research Ethics Monthly readers: Win for your institution a new 12-month subscription to https://www.ahrecs.vip
Prof. Mark Israel and Dr Gary Allen We would like to encourage institutions to