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Research ethics

Here at the College, we expect all staff and students to observe the highest ethical and professional standards in their research.

The code of conduct is underpinned by relevant sources of sector best practice, including the Concordat to Support Research Integrity, as well as policies on good research conduct provided by Conservatoires UK and the UK Research Integrity Office. We have a responsibility to act in accordance with the Nolan Committee’s Seven Principles of Public Life:

  • Selflessness
  • Integrity
  • Objectivity
  • Accountability
  • Openness
  • Honesty
  • Leadership

Those engaged in research foster good practice and intellectual integrity in all professional circumstances. Principles emphasised by researchers at all levels are:

  • Care and avoidance of harm
  • Honesty and openness
  • Accountability and appropriate documentation
  • Confidentiality
  • Informed consent
  • Avoidance of conflicts of interest
  • Compliance with the law and relevant codes of conduct
  • Due acknowledgement of collaborators, informants, participants, or other contributors

All research involving human participants at RWCMD must have ethical approval. Ethical approval is also required for projects that may not involve human participants but raise other ethical issues in potential social or environmental implications of the study.

All projects are submitted to the Subcommittee for Research Ethics for approval. Higher risk projects, as well as those involving institutions other than RWCMD, may be scrutinised by the Conservatoires UK Research Ethics Committee. Dr James Lea, Chair of the Subcommittee for Research Ethics, acts as the staff member overseeing research integrity and the first point of contact for anyone wanting more information on matters of research integrity.

Staff are regularly updated on good research practice.

Application procedures

Students undertaking research, begin with a discussion with the supervisor or module leader. An application is then submitted to the module leader. Applications for ethical approval include the ethical approval form, participant information sheets, participant consent forms, as well as any other relevant information, such as questionnaires.

The module leader will send the application to the Committee Secretary, Keiron Burrows with the subject: ‘Application to RWCMD Ethics Committee’. For staff undertaking research, the application will normally be sent to the Head of Department before being sent to the Committee Secretary.

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