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ESRC Research Training Programme

Ethics and Ethical Practice in Social Science Research


Core to all good social science research is a commitment to ethical practice in the development, undertaking, analysis and dissemination of that research. The growing range and sophistication of research also draws attention to the need for more explicit understandings of what constitutes good practice for all social scientists.

Heightened awareness of the complexity of human-centred research in Universities and other institutions has also created demand for more formalised ethical review processes and greater awareness raising amongst researchers about what constitutes ethically sound research and how to operationalise this in practice.

Ethical review, while important, is only part of the story. Understanding how best to deal with situations where adherence to formalised ethical guidance may be problematic (for example in some non-UK research) and how to cope with the unexpected ethical dilemmas that arise in the field are also of crucial importance in undertaking ethically sound research.

The training offered in this 3-year ESRC funded training initiative approaches ethics in two distinct ways:

  1. increasing knowledge and a critical understanding of research ethics as process;
  2. increasing knowledge and a critical understanding of research ethicsas practice in undertaking ethically sound research underpin.

The implications and issues raised by different methodologies also form a guiding principle of this training initiative.

Who are the trainers?

The research initiative is lead by an interdisciplinary team at Lancaster University including:

Each event will be convened and delivered by an interdisciplinary group of experts from across Lancaster University and beyond, giving participants access to a wide range of voices and expertise.


Who should attend the workshops?

Workshops are suitable for researchers at all levels including:

Postgraduate students
Postdoctoral and other researchers
Supervisors or research students and contract researchers;
Those who wish to become trainers in the topics themselves;
Potential members of Ethical Review Committees;
Those user groups that have traditionally been under-represented in debates and policy around ethics in research.


Further Information

For additional information about this training initiative contact the programme administrator: Sheryl Coultas by email.

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Institute for Advanced Studies
County South
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD