First round of Ethics and Integrity Development Grants celebrated

October 14 / 145

The inaugural Beyond Compliance: Ethics and Integrity Research Showcase was held yesterday at the Doherty Institute.

Chaired by Professor Julie Willis, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Capability), the showcase featured recipients of the Integrity Development Grants updating the University on the progress of their projects.

Among the research ethics issues discussed were:

- Is it ethical to give someone a bionic eye?

- How can we ensure that indigenous perspectives are built into research processes?

- Can we use fewer animals in teaching and research?

A total of $50,000 has been distributed across six projects. The successful projects were chosen from across the University by members of the Research Ethics and Integrity Strategy Committee, and Funding was made available from the Sir William Brunton Memorial Fund.

Dr Paul Taylor, Director of the University’s Office for Research Ethics and Integrity said aim of the scheme was to demonstrate that ethics and integrity are active, living principles that extend beyond compliance, ensuring the best possible research can be conducted and outcomes achieved.

“The principles of research ethics and integrity are well known and generally stable, but the day-to-day practice of research needs thought and interpretation of these principles,” he said.

“This scheme gives our researchers the opportunity to consider more fully the potential impacts of their work, and ensure that it is being conducted in an ethical and responsible manner.”

Dr Kate Fox from the School of Physics said it was a privilege to attend the showcase and share her research in bioethics.

“It was a good opportunity to highlight the diverse range of research into ethical considerations being undertaken within the University,” she said.

Mr Peter Ferguson, from the Rural Health Academic Centre, spoke about the importance of Indigenous  people’s involvement in the research process.

He said that including the Indigenous perspective in all stages of research allowed researchers to find previously unrecognised nuances.

“This creates better research and outcomes for Aboriginal communities and Australia more generally,” he said.

The 2014 funding round for the Ethics and Integrity Development Grants scheme is now open and will close on Friday 14 November.

More information is available at http://go.unimelb.edu.au/2u5n

A list of previous winners can be seen at http://go.unimelb.edu.au/m7vn

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