Research ethics is more than just avoiding plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty. Any research at SCD involving human subjects must explicitly avoid any kind of harm to the people involved, as well as being worthwhile in itself. We abide by the research ethics standards for Australia that were issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council. They are set out in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and are reviewed and updated periodically. You can read the full text of the May 2015 edition here.
These standards don’t just apply to medical research, they also apply to studies in Theology and Ministry. Even a project involving the filling out of a questionnaire or interviews with people must meet the standards and requires approval by our Research Ethics Committee. The membership of this committee and the processes it uses are in line with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.
Any SCD faculty or students wishing to undertake a research project involving human subjects must make an application to the Research Committee which will carefully assess the proposal. Research degree candidates, postgraduate students undertaking a particular research essay or research project, and even, on occasion, undergraduates, might need to make an application for ethics approval. Their supervisors or teachers will provide guidance as to whether an application to the Research Ethics Committee is necessary.
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