Ethics in research

Ethics are general guidelines that researchers follow in order to ensure that people are not harmed by a research project. Feminists have often pointed out how different research activities cause undue hardship to women and indigenous people. For these reasons, then, ethics are important.

This section seeks to provide Simone de Beauvoir Institute students with the information they need regarding ethical approval for the research projects of their students.

Basically, any time a student engages in research with human subjects, they are to receive ethics approval at the Departmental level. Research with humans can be quite broad: it can include interviews (asking people questions), participant observation (watching people in public, semi-public or private locations), and even consulting print sources (such as diaries).

Students are supposed to fill in a form, which summarizes their research and their methods. This form is then examined by the SdB Ethics Committee. This process is supposed to happen before data is collected. If all is well, the SdB authorizes the research to take place. The primary objective of the SdB Ethics Committee is to review the proposals presented by students and to make sure that they respect the particular legal and ethical norms of scientific research in the university.

Reading the information below will help you become familiar with some of the language and concepts of ethics, if this is new to you. It will also help you in filling out the forms.

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