An important part of writing a research proposal is the consideration of ethical issues related to the processes, outcomes and implication of the project. In your proposal and later in the methodology section of the dissertation itself you should discuss the ethical implications of the proposed study.
What are the key ethical issues?
If you are using human research participants, the key issues are likely to include (among others): Informed consent, Confidentiality, Equity , Balance of benefits/risks, Protection of the vulnerable, Compliance with the Data Protection Act. If you are not using human research participants you would still need to consider things such as (among others): Compliance with the Data Protection Act, Resource utilisation.
Does the study require ethical approval?
In order for the Business School to comply with governance requirements, a Research Ethics Approval (REA) form has been introduced. As soon as you have finalised your project topic, you must complete an on-line REA form, print off a copy and obtain the written approval of your supervisor before proceeding.
In most cases, there will be no major ethical implications in the work being undertaken. Where there is doubt about research ethics issues, the student must consult with their supervisor and, where necessary, the matter should be considered by the Academic Group's Research Leader. Particularly difficult cases may be referred to the School Research Committee's Ethics Panel (SRCEP). Please note that applications submitted to the SRCEP make take a few weeks to be processed.