In your experience, is ethical research competence well taught/studied at postgraduate level?

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  • #4699
    Dr Jim Byrne
    Participant

    Hi,

    I wrote my doctoral thesis on this subject, and am curious about the experience of individuals on this forum.  Did you get a thorough grounding in research ethics on your postgraduate course?  Do you feel like you have a developed sense of ethical research competence, especially in relation to qualitative research issues?

    Best wishes,

    Jim

     

    Dr Jim Byrne

    http://www.abc-counseling.com

    #4714
    Mridula
    Member

    I did my post graduation a long time back in India and I didn’t even had a course in research methods, ethics in research is something I picked up on the way.

    #4713
    Rob Downie
    Participant

    I never recieved any post-graduate course-related training in research ethics. I was required to complete an on-line course in ‘Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans’ (Canada) and a similar course through the National Institues of Health (USA). These were just overviews, my real training came during a collaborative graduate research program at a university-affiliated research hospital. Completing research ethics applications for both qualitative and qualitiative research projects and then responding to concerns/questions from the REB was how I became competent in research ethics. I am now a member of an REB committee and participate in the same process.

    Rob

    #4712
    Dr Jim Byrne
    Participant

    Thanks Mridula, That’s helpful.
    Jim

    #4711
    Dr Jim Byrne
    Participant

    Thanks Rob, That’s interesting. Probably quite common also.
    Best wishes,
    Jim

    #4710
    Mridula
    Member

    And institutional review boards (IRBs) are sill rare in India. I have published only a few papers and yet never faced an IRB, not heard of them much from colleagues too.

    #4709
    Dr Jim Byrne
    Participant

    Thanks Mridula,
    That’s very interesting and helpful.
    In Appendix 1 to my doctoral thesis, I summarized some of my ideas about developing an ethical approach to qualitiative research. You can find it here: http://www.abc-counselling.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/file-11-appendix-1.pdf. I wonder just how much of that kind of perspective could be learned in an ad hoc manner?
    What do you think?
    Best wishes,
    Jim

    #4708

    Dear Jim,

    An interesting question. I did receive ethics training appropriate to my discipline (sociology/anthropology) at both UK undergraduate and MRES/MPhil level, however these were very much geared towards explaining ‘what to do/what not to do’ as a researcher so as to report accurately and without misrepresentation, rather than addressing more complex, participant-side issues of capacity and consent.

    Having since moved into medical research (specifically forensic mental health, where these issues are even more tricky and complex) I have essentially had to relearn everything I know about ‘research ethics’, even in qualitative methods. Perhaps more worryingly, however, I haven’t really experienced a robust ‘ethics training’ session in any of the ones I have attended: the one exception might be the UK Department of Health’s ‘Capacity to Consent’ training that is very thorough and comprehensive even though it is geared to clinicians and only addresses a small part of the ‘research ethics’ remit.

    I see from your profile that you’re performing research into counselling/psychotherapy: I think this area provides an excellent illustration of some of the most difficult aspects of research ethics as you owe a certain duty of care to your participants not to breach their confidentiality… yet how can you (as Freud, for example, attempted to do) then provide robust research evidence based on your experience? There is a very fine line to be trodden between betraying your participant’s trust and misleading your colleagues when reporting such cases. How would one ‘train’ a dilemma like this?

    Best wishes,

    –Mark

    #4707
    Dr Jim Byrne
    Participant

    Hi Mark,
    Thank you for this very interesting information. I think the question of research ethics teaching and learning is very complex, and necessarily involves a substantial study of moral philosophy. I also think it is one of the most challenging and potentially mind stretching aspects of the doctoral journey, followed thoroughly. I actaully abandoned my original research plan because it became clear that at least one of my research repondents could be harmed by my research questions. I then spent a lot of time struggling to make sense of the philosophy of moral action in managing information. It seems to me we need a thorough training, and self-driected enquiry into these ethical research matters, but that no amount of training will answer all upcoming dilemmas. We have to become good at dealing with moral dilemmas in a sensitive manner, and to be awake and alert to the potential dangers of our research actions. I don’t think we can know in advance how to resolve every issue. What I did was to work out a heuristic model to guide the teaching and learning actions of those involved in doctoral research. You can find in on page 194 of Chapter 4 of my thesis, which is attached.
    What do you think?
    Best wishes,
    Jim

    #4706

    I am a student of Research methods.Ethics in Research is one of the topics that all the facilitators emphasize at all times.our fast lecture in the research methods class was to do with ethics.plagiarism being one of the commonest un ethical conducts is mostly the talk in our class.

    #4705
    Mridula
    Member

    Jim I thought the ad hoc one is still better than not having one at all!

    #4704

    Dear Jim Byrne, Thanks for a simulating question. In no university in India we have a paper on research ethics thought for students at doctoral level. (  I was asked to teach a paper on Professional Ethics at undergraduate level and did a survey and found no university has in its curriculum the paper on research ethics for humanities or management). However, some of the science post graduate course have bio ethics as one of their papers. dr kp. 

    #4703
    Mridula
    Member

    Dr Krishamurthy exactly my experience. Where can I read about your work?

    #4702

    Truely speaking before i had my BA i didn’t see anything on research ethics but it was last year when i went in for my masters program that i started doing that. it is something that is not really taught here in Africa especially in BA programs

    #4701

     i am really enjoying your comments i think what i know so far is like an introduction to what research ethics is all about. i like it and i think that an open and free society easily promote ethics in all domains and that is why some countries are still runing behind in as far as research ethics are concern.

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