UKRIO research integrity webinar: Consent, Wednesday 9 September 2020
The focus of our September 2020 webinar was consent. Informed consent is an essential element of research integrity and one of the founding principles of research ethics. It is a communication process between the researcher and the research participant. For a human participant to voluntarily enter research they must have the full information about what it means for them to take part. Only then can they give consent before they enter the research. The speakers will discuss best practice in obtaining consent in different research disciplines.
Professor Margaret Rees, Reader Emeritus in Reproductive Medicine at the University of Oxford, talked about consent in health and biomedicine. Her presentation can be found here.
Professor Inke Näthke, Professor of Epithelial Biology, Interim Dean and Associate Dean for Professional Culture at the School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee described policies and processes in place to obtain consent from participants in research studies in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee. Her presentation can be found here.
David Carpenter, Chair – HRA South Central-Berkshire NHS Research Ethics Committee; Trainer in Research Ethics (HRA, ARMA, UKRIO), explored the concept of participant consent in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. His presentation can be found here.
You can watch the webinar videos below:
James Parry introduces UKRIO’s webinar on consent in research and gives some personal observations on the topic.
Professor Margaret Rees discusses about consent in health and biomedical research. Obtaining consent is an essential requirement before undertaking research in human beings. It must be voluntary and participants need to be aware that they can withdraw without reprisal. Documentation of ethical approval and consent are absolute requirements for consideration for publication in peer-reviewed biomedical journals.
Professor Inke Näthke discusses policies and processes in place to obtain consent from participants in research studies in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee. This includes consent required for surveys that are conducted as part of public engagement projects where opinions are compared before and after an ‘intervention’ often in the form of an activity related to education about scientific ideas. She also discusses how changes in research practice (such as overseas research and social media use) have informed revisions of local policies.
David Carpenter poses questions for the audience’s consideration about the concept ‘participant consent’ in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. He asks delegates to consider if ‘participant consent’, as understood in other research disciplines, is applicable in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences or can it be substituted by simple agreement, consensus and collaboration in the context of mutual respect and the absence of hierarchies?