New guidance on research ethics from the ESRC

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has published a revised version of its framework for research ethics. The framework sets out what it considers to be good practice in social science research.

The new framework encourages:

  • researchers to consider potential ethics issues throughout the lifecycle of the project and to seek advice from their research ethics committee (REC) and other experts as needed
  • research organisations’ commitment to ethics training for researchers and REC members and to support RECs in fulfilling their role and maintaining their independence
  • RECs to support researchers throughout the research lifecycle and carry out proportionate ethics reviews considering both the benefits and risks of the research

Although the framework must be followed by all individuals and organisations engaged in research it funds, the ESRC emphasises that it cannot replace the need for self-critical and responsible reflection on issues throughout the research lifecycle.

The framework can be accessed on the ESRC website. You will also find some helpful case studies there.