Research Ethics

Guidance on LSE research ethics, code of research conduct, and training

The Research Ethics Policy aims to promote a culture within the School whereby researchers conscientiously reflect on the ethical implications of their research.

The LSE Research Ethics Policy and Code of Research Conduct form part of the School's over-arching Ethics Code. A step-by-step guide can be found below, including a link to the ethics review form.

Research ethics procedure: Step-by-step guide

If your research involves human participants, or data relating to directly identifiable human subjects (whether living or recently deceased), you need to complete an ethics review.

Note that  applications relating to the following kinds of research will need to be reviewed by the Research Ethics Committee (and should therefore be submitted to research.ethics@lse.ac.uk): 

(i) Research involving deception of participants, or that is intentionally conducted without their full and informed consent at the time the study is carried out or when the data are gathered
(ii) Research which involves or may lead to the publication of confidential information
(iii) Research involving more than minimal risk of harm to participants, for instance arising from:
• research involving vulnerable groups;
• research involving sensitive topics;
• research where the permission of a gatekeeper is required for initial access to participants (where there this might unduly influence participants to take part in the research);
• research which would induce unacceptable psychological stress, anxiety or humiliation or cause more than minimal pain.

You can check the time- frame for Research Ethics Committee reviews here.
If you have any questions please contact Lyn Grove via research.ethics@lse.ac.uk

 

 

Informed consent guidance

Please see the LSE guidance on Informed Consent. You may like to use this sample participant information sheet and consent form as a template.  Further information can also be found on the Library’s webpages on data management and informed consent.

Code of Research Conduct, and procedures for the investigation of research misconduct

Policies and procedures

The policies and procedures for the investigation of research misconduct are now incorporated within the School's Code of Research Conduct. Staff and students should also refer to the LSE Whistleblowing Policy (Public Interest Disclosure).

Annual statement of research integrity

Annual statement of research integrity, 2017-18

Annual statement of research integrity, 2016-17

US-funded research

LSE has incorporated the following into its policies and procedures: Statement on Dealing with Allegations of Research Misconduct under United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Research-related Activities for Foreign Institutions.

Researcher safety

Researcher safety encompasses a variety of issues, including health, travel, and protection from legal sanctions. Please refer to the guidance on Fieldwork, overseas travel and off site activities. We also recommend you refer to the SRA Code of practice for the Safety of social researchers

Training and support

  • All students - contact your department to ask what research ethics and integrity training is available in your department. For any questions regarding the training and support outlined below please contact research.ethics@lse.ac.uk.

  • Masters and undergraduate students - training sessions are run occasionally within LSE LIFE. Refer to their schedule of events.

  • PhD students - the PhD Academy hosts a monthly series of topical issues in research ethics. PhD students can also access research ethics training via the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network (BPSN). See also details of MY530 and SRA training below.

  • All staff and students - are welcome to attend ‘Research ethics, data management and data protection’ drop-in surgeries with any questions you have. Sessions are held weekly in LSE LIFE, Thursdays from 4-5pm.

  • Research ethics workshop (part of MY530) -  this workshop is run by Dr Jen Tarr, Methodology Department, and is open to PhD students. the next session will be held on Friday 23rd November, 10.00-12.00 and 13.30-15.30, in the PhD Academy. Details can be found on Moodle. Registration will be available 2 weeks beforehand.

    Session details: Ethical considerations are a key element of well-designed research. Set out the fundamental principles of research ethics in the social sciences as they apply to PhD research projects.  Discuss standard topics such as informed consent, deception, and confidentiality as well as newer issues such as ethics relating to video, photographs and digital media. In the second part of this session, we will look at practical examples of ethical problems. You are welcome to bring for discussion any ethical issues you are facing in your research.

    Next session date: TBC. See Moodle for details

  • The Social Research Association (SRA) run a range of training courses, some of which include research ethics related issues. 

If you have any questions regarding training please get in touch with Lyn Grove

Further ethics guidance

 

 

Further guidance

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