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Developing a Framework for Social Science Research Ethics

~ an ESRC project at the Science and Technology Studies Unit (SATSU), University of York and the School of Social Sciences and Law, Oxford Brookes University
'Developing a Framework'

A series of Regional Meetings providing a forum for debate and feedback, and integral to development of the Framework.

Meeting programme completed February 2004. Feedback available shortly.

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News and Events
~ what's new

~ including
Framework drafts

Join the debate
~ comment on
latest drafts

Knowledge Base
~ additional ethics

Contact Us
~ project team details

REF Project Team
restricted access

  • 4 July 2005
    ESRC publishes Research Ethics Framework. All ESRC-funded research will have to meet the requirements of the Framework from 1 January 2006.

  • 15 June 2005
    ESRC announces formal launch of Research Ethics Framework
    The ESRC will launch the REF in the next week or so, with details on the ESRC website and a press launch. All HEIs will be contacted with details, followed by a series of workshops on the new REF around the UK in the Autumn. more details...

  • 4 June 2005
    Several additions to the KnowledgeBase over the past few months including guidelines on educational research and anthropology research and various other links.

  • 4 November 2004
    Ethical Frameworks for Research Conference, Open University
    'Developing a Framework for Social Science Research Ethics': invited presentation on development of the Research Ethics Framework, Open University, Milton Keynes.

  • 1 September 2004
    Ethics Review of Social Care Research - public consultation
    Department of Health announces public consultation, closing date 31 December 2004, on proposed research governance framework for social care research. More details...

  • 1 July 2004
    ESRC Research Methods Festival, University of Oxford
    'A Framework for Social Science Research Ethics' - invited presentation to the 'ESRC future strategies' session at the Research Methods Festival, St Catherine's College, Oxford.

  • 28 June 2004
    REF Project Update available
    With news on what's happened since the regional meetings, points raised and views expressed at the meetings and in interviews with senior researchers, what's likely to happen now, and more. Go to Documents

  • 15 June 2004
    "Giving Voice to the Spectrum"
    Canada's Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics (PRE) has published the results of a consultation with the country's social science community. For details, look under 'Canada' in the KnowledgeBase

  • 27 May 2004
    Draft Research Ethics Framework submitted to ESRC
    The project team has submitted the draft REF document, accompanied by a Report on the regional meetings and interviews with key stakeholders and other interested parties, to the ESRC. We hope to keep everyone who participated in the project informed of developments.

  • 25 May 2004
    Working Papers for Discussion
    Discussion Papers 1 - 4 (version 2) now available.

    These are working papers for discussion only, as submitted to the ESRC as part of our Report on the proposed Framework. The revised versions are based on commentary on version 1 from members of UK social science community and feedback from the regional meetings held in February.

  • 5 May 2004
    REF at ESRC Research Methods Festival, Oxford, 1 July 2004
    The Research Ethics Framework will feature at the ESRC's Research Methods Festival in Oxford in early July, part of a session on 'ESRC strategic directions'. More details

  • 8 March 2004
    Regional Consultation Meetings completed ~ completion of the Regional Consultation Meetings marks a new stage, with a shift to production of the draft Framework for ESRC consideration. Feedback from all Meetings was very positive, and we will be incorporating your comments into the draft Framework where appropriate. You can still submit comments on any aspect of the proposed Framework, including the draft Discussion Papers.

  • 5 March 2004
    Discussion Paper 4 available ~ the fourth and final Discussion Paper 4: Implementing the ESRC Research Ethics Framework: The Case for Research Ethics Committees is now available.

  • 14 February 2004
    **Final Regional Consultation Meetings** ~ feedback from the Newcastle and Edinburgh consultation meetings has been very positive - with most delegates finding them useful and instructive. The last opportunity to attend one of these meetings is Manchester (19 Feb) and London (23 Feb). >>book a place

  • 11 February 2004
    Student Project Ethics Committees ~ COREC 'analysis and preliminary draft proposal to establish Student Project Ethics Committees (SPECs) which would review those proposals that currently are or should be submitted to NHS Research Ethics Committees (RECs), but which are undertaken by students primarily for educational purposes'. Consultation closes 15 March 2004. >>SPECs proposal.

  • 6 February 2004
    Regional Consultation Meetings kick off in Newcastle ~ PEALS, located in the International Centre for Life, hosted the first of four Regional Consultation Meetings yesterday. Issues and problems identified at this and subsequent meetings will feed into Framework guidelines being produced by the project team. >>other meetings.

  • 6 February 2004
    Research Ethics and Governance ~ RAGnet, the university Research Administrators Group, is managing a new discussion list on ethics and research governance. Of special interest to research administrators in higher education, but open to all, for details go to: >>RAGnet discussion list

  • 3 February 2004
    Professional ethics committees? - thought provoking newsletter from the Association of Research Ethics Committees (AREC) on the pros and cons of professionalising medical ethics committees. >>AREC newsletter Dec 2003

  • 30 January 2004
    Discussion Papers for Regional Consultation Meetings ~ Discussion Papers 1 - 3 have now been released. Paper 4 will follow shortly. *These are working papers for discussion and further revision* >>Discussion Papers

  • 6 January 2004
    Bookings confirmed this week ~ bookings for February meetings will be confirmed this week (w/e 10 Jan 2004). If you booked a place but have not received confirmation by email by this date, please >>let us know. If you want to attend a meeting >>book now!

  • 5 January 2004
    Regional Consultation Meetings - UPDATE ~ the London consultation meeting (23 Feb) is now close to fully booked. Places are still available for the consultation meetings in Newcastle (5 Feb), Edinburgh (13 Feb) and Manchester (19 Feb). >>details.

  • 19 December 2003
    Regional Consultation Meetings - LONDON MEETING OVER-SUBSCRIBED ~ the London Regional Consultation Meeting, 23 February 2004, is likely to be oversubscribed. Please tell us your 'second choice' venue when you book - details on how to do this are posted on the online booking form >>details.

  • 17 December 2003
    Regional Consultation Meetings - BOOK NOW - PLACES GOING FAST! ~ if you want to attend one of the Regional Consultation Meetings, in Newcastle, Edinburgh, Manchester, and London, you should book as soon as possible - places are limited. >>details.

  • 18 November 2003
    Regional Consultation Meetings - NOW BOOKING! ~ debate the draft guidelines and papers comprising the Framework - Newcastle (5 Feb. 2004), Edinburgh (13 Feb. 2004), Manchester (19 Feb. 2004), and London (23 Feb. 2004) >>details.
    Please note London date now 23 February.

  • 4 November 2003
    Who can participate in Framework development? ~ the ESRC, through the Research Ethics Framework project, seeks input from the widest possible range of stakeholders, including universities, research funders, professional associations and learned societies, voluntary organisations and charities, and individual researchers. Participation is available through several mechanisms, including feedback via this site, and attendence at one of the Regional Meetings (see below).

  • 1 November 2003
    Regional Consultation Meetings ~ regional meetings for consultation and debate on draft guidelines and papers will be in Newcastle (5 Feb. 2004), Edinburgh (13 Feb. 2004), Manchester (19 Feb. 2004), and London (23 Feb. 2004). Please note: London date now 23 February (not 26 February).

  • 30 October 2003
    Background Paper
    ~ outlining the project and its goals, distributed to all participants in the 2002 Ethics Review and other key stakeholders.

  • 30 October 2003
    Summary of 2002 Ethics Review
    ~ summary of previous Review distributed to all participants and other key stakeholders. The current development of national guidelines for research ethics flows from this earlier work by SATSU for the ESRC on behalf of the Strategic Forum for the Social Sciences.

  • 28 September 2003
    ESRC commissions Framework project
    ~ SATSU, University of York, with the School of Social Sciences and Law, Oxford Brookes University, awarded commission by ESRC for 'Developing a Framework for Social Science Research Ethics'. Details of call...

    We welcome feedback and suggestions.
    Please send comments to: Research Ethics Framework
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