UCC is committed to promoting consistent ethical behaviour as an integral element of its research culture.
Research Ethics at UCC addresses the requirement to ensure that certain basic ethical standards are met in the conduct of research. Where proposed research may engage potentially ethically sensitive issues (such as the involvement of human participants), institutional safeguards must be put in place to promote best practice. A robust and suitable model of Research Ethics Governance confers the following benefits on a university:
- It ensures that institutional and individual responsibilities under the law are complied with.
- It promotes public confidence and trust in the research activity of the university.
- It helps in fulfilling institutional and individual responsibilities to behave in an ethical and equitable manner toward research participants, employees, funding bodies and wider society.
- It helps in protecting the interests of all parties involved in research; research participants/donors, investigators, funding bodies and the host institution.
- It helps in fulfilling obligations to indemnity insurers.
Such a model also has direct benefits for academic and research staff:
- It provides impartial ethical oversight of research projects.
- It assures institutional support to staff who have obtained institutional ethical approval.
- It makes research proposals more desirable to funding bodies and is generally necessary in order to obtain funding.
- It may be an explicit requirement for publication of reseach.
- It promotes efficiency and clarity in research protocols.
- It may provide specific guidance with regard to issues such as informed consent, confidentiality, data protection policies, and protection of vulnerable groups where these do not already exist by statute or by international norms.