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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com if this interest you. The online component is open to registrants outside Western Australia.
In this post, Michael Creevey (the CEO of Endpoint IQ) discusses the effective and constructive use of research management systems, including research ethics modules.
He discusses how a system can be used to resource and support a positive research culture within an institution.
Effective systems should provide the tools so users and their stakeholders can operate a constructive and value adding set of research governance arrangements (including Human Research Ethics, Animal Ethics and the related processes).
Michael discusses the origins of Endpoint IQ and how it was informed by the perspectives, needs and aspirations of research managers and researchers in Australia.
AHRECS is very conscious of the degree to which we have a conflict of interest in this space, but we think the Endpoint IQ system is excellent and is worth a serious look. We have an ongoing good relationship with Michael and the Endpoint IQ team, we have also partnered with them in bids in New Zealand. We also have a small financial connection to them. This conflict notwithstanding, we encourage research institutions to have a serious look at this system.
Even though Endpoint IQ is an excellent system, there are a number of other research management systems that are commendable and can perform similar (but not identical) functions to those of Endpoint IQ.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss how we could assist your institution.
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Katherine Christian, Carolyn Johnstone, Jo-ann Larkins, Wendy Wright and Michael Doran Katherine Christian, Federation
When it comes to human research and ethics review, self-censorship comes in two forms.