The Bartlett


Interactive Research Ethics and Data Protection Workshop

14 June 2017, 2:00 pm–5:00 pm

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students




The Bartlett


Room 1.20, Malet Place Engineering Building, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

This highly interactive inter-departmental training workshop aims to improve the ability of Bartlett doctoral researchers to think through the ethical and data protection implications of collecting and using built environment data. This could be data derived directly from individual humans, or data that could reveal personal information about individual humans.

The workshop uses examples from built environment research and emphasizes why research ethics matters in this field and how to practically address the issues. It will also provide Bartlett doctoral researchers with the opportunity to network with and learn from students in other Bartlett departments.

The workshop consists of five different components that will engage participants in mixed-department activities based on real-world research ethics and data protection conundrums. Students will have the chance to develop posters on personal data that could be revealed by passive data that will be displayed at the end of the event.

In advance of the workshop, doctoral students from across the Bartlett will be invited to participate in a competition for the best Information Sheet and the best Consent Process (calls for competition entries will be made separately).

The workshop will be followed by a networking event open to those who participated in the workshop and/or submitted a competition entry where three prizes of £50 will be awarded.

Workshop Components (2-5pm)

Part 1: Overview of Research Ethics

This session will start with a brief overview of research ethics philosophies, especially Principalist Ethics, the philosophy upon which most institutional research ethics procedures are based, including UCL's. Then, in small groups, using Principalist Ethics criteria, students will discuss “When is it ok for a professor to put a black plastic bin bag over his student's head?” Finally, a detailed overview of Principalist Ethics criteria will be provided, including how to evaluate and address the criteria.

Part 2: Obtaining Informed Consent

Workshop participants will be asked to read and vote for the best Information Sheet and the best Consent Processes. Competition requirements and shortlisting of submissions will be undertaken in collaboration with Michael Walls (Development Planning Unit), Claire Colomb (School of Planning), Kerstin Sailer (School of Architecture) and Efrosyni Konstantinou (School off Construction & Project Management).

Part 3: Evaluating and Mitigating Harm

In advance of the workshop, participants will be asked to fill in the first part of UCL's new low risk research ethics application form outlining their research design. An anonymised selection of these will be allocated to new small groups to explore what possible harms could arise from the research and how those harms could be mitigated, and to complete the low risk application forms accordingly.

Part 4: Data Protection

Following a brief overview of the UK Data Protection Act, and the future EU General Data Protection Regulations, the presentation will explore a diversity of academic and professional viewpoints on when "passive data" might be capable of revealing personal data. Then new small groups will be formed to discuss what personal information could potentially be gleaned from different data sources and develop a poster on personal data that could be revealed by passive data.

Part 5: Identification of Future Training Needs

Students will be asked to complete a short evaluation form.

Networking, Posters and Prizes (5-8pm)

Register for the event


Please email m.shipworth@ucl.ac.uk for any additional information.