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New grant to explore research ethics governance in Scotland

Tue 21 July 2020

Dr Ted Dove profile picture

The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland recently awarded Dr Edward Dove, Lecturer in Health Law and Regulation at Edinburgh Law School, a Research Incentive Grant for the project, ‘Ethics review in Scottish universities: how can we do better?’

University research ethics committees have proliferated since the early 2000s due to the requirements of research funders and to address institutional ethical pressures, and ethical scrutiny is now applied across multiple disciplines, including health and social sciences, as well as the humanities, law, business studies, social work, and art and design. Yet, there are currently no harmonised procedures or benchmarks for ethics review within higher education, which can seriously hinder the conduct of sound research and undermine the credibility of ethics review in universities.

To address these issues, Dr Dove’s project aims to empirically investigate research ethics committees in Scottish universities to uncover their regulatory practices and identify strengths and weaknesses in the system.

In speaking about the project, Dr Dove said: “I am honoured and delighted that the Carnegie Trust has funded this project, which will allow me to explore the ways in which research ethics governance is instituted in universities across Scotland.

“While the empirical research aspects of the project may change in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, I remain optimistic that I can uncover day-to-day practices and identify what’s working well and not so well, and ultimately, offer recommendations to improve the governance pathways so that research ethics in our universities can flourish.”

Academic profile – Dr Edward Dove

The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland