The University of Edinburgh has a commitment to promote and facilitate the conduct of research ethics and integrity. Information about this commitment is available from the College's research ethics framework web page which provides additional information on other policies and advice.
The College of Science and Engineering has adopted the UK Research Integrity Office’s Code of Practice for Research and the Concordat to Support Research Integrity, embedding those in School-specific policies. The College has developed a Research Ethics and Integrity framework that suits its disciplines.
In practice, the seven academic Schools are responsible for implementing those guidelines at a local level. Please see the College’s Research Ethics and Integrity website for more information.The College also provides an on line ethics and integrity training programme.
Purpose of Ethical Standards
In line with this Research ethics framework the School of GeoSciences attaches great importance to addressing the ethical implications of all research activities carried out by its members, be they undergraduates, postgraduates or academic members of staff. Attention to the ethical and legal implications of research for researchers, research subjects, sponsors and collaborators is an intrinsic part of good research practice.
The School has an Ethics Assessment Form (Part 1: the First Pass Assessment and Part 2: the Ethics Assessment form) and two sets of Ethics Guidance Notes (for Self Assessment and a Full Ethics Assessment) to help researchers anticipate issues that might arise in their research. Beyond the form, the school policy on research ethics emphasises improving ethical awareness as part of a broader collaborative commitment to cultivating professional research training. For example, undergraduate and postgraduate students undertaking ethics reviews of their research proposals are supported by class-based discussions of ethics and/or mentoring from their supervisors. Similarly, academic members of staff can use the Ethics Committee as a sounding board and resource for their applications. And, of course, all researchers have access to this web information, which seeks to provide details on ethics background and procedure, as well as access to relevant forms. This pro-active approach is designed to anticipate and offset problems and heighten awareness of ethical issues at the very outset of the research design process.
The School Ethics process requires you to complete an Ethics Assessment Form and refer to the one or both sets of Ethics Guidance Notes for further information. If your research involves human subjects or is work in sensitive environments it is likely that you will be required to fill out the assessment as a Full Ethical Assessment.
To whom do these Procedures apply?
The School ethics procedures apply to any person in the School of GeoSciences who conducts advanced research, and includes academics, emeritus staff, teaching staff, undergraduate honours students, postgraduates (Masters and PhD), visiting or adjunct scholars, fellows and chairs, paid and unpaid research associates and assistants, whether acting as a principal investigator, a junior collaborator or in some other capacity.