New ESRC Framework for Research Ethics

NCRM news
Kaisa Puustinen

As the principal funding agency for UK social science research, ESRC requires that the research they support is designed and conducted in accordance with recognised best practice and ethical standards, and subject to proper professional and institutional oversight in terms of research governance.

The Framework for Research Ethics was introduced in 2006. Since then the ESRC have only funded research where consideration has been given to ethical implications and in those research organisations where appropriate arrangements are in place. The Framework therefore has implications for applicants to ESRC and their research teams, research organisations and research ethics committees, for those assessing research proposals and for research participants.

The revised Framework for Research Ethics includes necessary revisions but also encourages researchers to think ethically and emphasises the importance of identifying potential ethical issues throughout the research lifecycle of a project and expresses our expectation that researchers should ensure the maximum benefit of their research whilst minimising actual or potential risk of harm to participants or others affected by the research.