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IOE starting or resuming face-to-face fieldwork

This new guidance concerns IOE staff research from 6 September 2021 until further notice.

Introduction: Face-to-face fieldwork and changed contexts due to COVID-19

We are aware that the current unprecedented situation continues to raise concerns in relation to participants of research conducted by IOE staff in relation to how we can take good care of those involved in research and of you as researchers.

We will keep you informed of developments related to the conduct of, and support for, your research. Please take good care of yourself and those around you at this time. We hope this material supports staff in relation to one component of the complex situations we find ourselves in.

This guidance concerns IOE Staff Research and builds on the Response to research and changed contexts due to the Coronavirus issued in March 2020.

The following material draws on, and provides links to, relevant UCL guidance whilst contextualising this for IOE. IOE guidance is created in dialogue with the July 2021 UCL ‘updated guidance to plan and manage your fieldwork’. The IOE fieldwork guidance below concerning ‘Category 1 and 2’ should be followed by all IOE staff.

We realise that IOE research is undertaken in many different contexts and situations, so this broad material may need thinking through in relation to your specific work. IOE research does not only happen in the UK, and this guidance is being used by researchers all over the world. Please see Section 2.4 below on how to receive help with this process.

Professor Phil Jones, IOE Head of Research Ethics and Governance on behalf of the IOE Research Ethics Team


IOE Category 1 and Category 2 face-to-face fieldwork

We are changing the guidance for Staff in relation to Research Ethics Approval for face-to-face fieldwork activities from September 6 2021 until further notice.

IOE has created two categories – ‘Category 1’ and ‘Category 2’ - for face-to-face fieldwork ethics applications, and these will be worked with differently in terms of the ethics approval process.

We are doing this to continue to be careful and thorough in our review and approval process, whilst recognising that:

  • in some contexts the processes we adopted during the early stages of the impacts of COVID-19 are no longer necessary (Category 1), whilst:
  • in other contexts, the processes we created to promote safety for participants and researchers are still needed (Category 2).

The following defines these categories and then details the review process/what you need to do in relation to ethical approval for IOE staff face-to-face fieldwork. Please remember that IOE research occurs in many different countries and that our guidance reflects this. We expect researchers to monitor the context of their research in relation to Covid-19 and inform the IOE Research Ethics Office ioe.researchethics@ucl.ac.uk if they need to change the Category of their research. An example of this is where restrictions concerning Covid-19 are re-introduced.

If you are Resuming face to face fieldwork please go to ‘Section 2.2 At A Glance for Principal Investigators’ where you will find details under ‘Resuming face-to-face fieldwork at non-UCL settings: PIs and Ethical Review’


Categories 1 & 2 definitions: which category is my research?

CATEGORY 1* is defined as where the researcher or research team are operating in country contexts where:

  • CATEGORY 1(A) - Covid-19 Restrictions have been removed; or
  • CATEGORY 1(B) - Covid-19 Restrictions are still in place, but face-to-face contact is allowed.

*Please note that this category applies to any country context

CATEGORY 1(A) - Covid-19 Restrictions have been removed

CATEGORY 1(A) is defined as where the researcher or research team is operating in a country context, where: 

(i) in relation to COVID-19 ‘legal restrictions have been lifted’

(ii) confirmation from a government website, such as the link shown here, (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do#england-has-moved-to-step-4 Accessed July 19 2021) can be supplied accompanying the application indicating that restrictions have been removed in the research country context at the time of the ethics application, and; 

(iii) the researcher or research team are satisfied that their safety, and that of their participants, is adequately guaranteed **.

** NB The IOE REC notes that some researchers in England consider current UK government guidance does not guarantee safety for researchers and participants, and that they will follow processes such as wearing masks and social distancing, even when government or setting policies do not require this. In this case, please still treat your work as CATEGORY 1(A), but note your position/decision in your application. Protection of participants is an ethical consideration and we would expect to see due care and attention given to the steps taken to minimize COVID-related risks to participants and researchers, such as in Section 8 of the standard ethics application form. You may find the following links useful in devising such an approach to safety: NIHR guidance; LSE guidance.

CATEGORY 1(B) - Restrictions are still in place, but face-to-face contact is allowed

CATEGORY 1(B) is defined as where the researcher or research team - is operating in a country context, where national restrictions are in place***, and: 

the researcher or research team is employed in the research setting (for example, a school or centre)****, or has been granted, and can provide, documented evidence of permission to have access to the research site or setting where: 

(i) clear processes are in place in relation to COVID-19 safety, (ii) the processes can be followed in the research, and (iii) documents describing these processes can be supplied to the IOE Research Ethics Office

AND

The researcher can demonstrate in their risk assessment that they have satisfactorily addressed the three areas within the IOE Risk Assessment Form concerning the hazards and risks of COVID-19, in relation to: (i) travelling to and from fieldwork; (ii) fieldwork sites or setting and (iii) heightened risk for vulnerable groups. Please see the IOE Risk Assessment Form for guidance on all three areas. The risk assessment should contain links to national guidance relevant to the contexts of the context/country in relation to: (i) travel, (ii) the site or setting (iii) people who are at heightened risk.

***Examples of such national guidance: 

****If your research does not have a specific site or setting, or takes place in a multi-site context, please contact the IOE Research Ethics Office and we will advise you 

CATEGORY 2 is defined as:
All face-to-face fieldwork that does not meet the conditions defined in Category 1


Categories 1 & 2: Actions to take

For all applications, Staff can indicate which Category they consider their research to fall in. If you are unsure, or wish to check, please contact the IOE Research Ethics Office.

If you are Resuming face to face fieldwork please go to ‘Section 2.2 At A Glance for Principal Investigators’ where you will find details under ‘Resuming face-to-face fieldwork at non-UCL settings: PIs and Ethical Review’

CATEGORY 1 

Change - There is no need to meet the following requirement which has been in place since the onset of COVID-19:

  • The researcher should verify whether the fieldwork can be carried out remotely before making any plans for person-to-person interaction.

CATEGORY 1(A) Covid-19 Restrictions have been removed

Actions - please complete and submit on Moodle the: 

What will happen?

The application form and risk assessment will be reviewed as part of the standard IOE ethics review process.

This means your application will be reviewed by 2 IOE ethics reviewers, rather than being additionally reviewed by the IOE Head of Research Ethics and Governance and the IOE Director of Operations. This will speed up the process of review. They will undertake an anonymous sample (30%) of the reviews and approvals in their entirety for quality every term and report to the IOE Director as part of the process of agreed ‘delegated authority’.

CATEGORY 1(B) Restrictions are still in place, but face-to-face contact is allowed

Actions - please complete and submit on Moodle the:

  • Standard ethics documentation: , information sheets, and consent forms. We expect to see consideration of COVID-related protection of participants in Section 8 of the standard application form  
  • In Section 1(m) of the standard ethics application form indicate that this is a Category 1(B) application, and 
  • In Section 1(m) of the standard ethics application form provide confirmation, by a web link or an attachment pdf, indicating that restrictions are still in place, but face to face contact is allowed in the research country context at the time of the ethics application
  • fieldwork proforma
  •  

What will happen?

The application form, fieldwork proforma and risk assessment will be reviewed as part of the standard IOE ethics review process. This means your application will be reviewed by 2 IOE ethics reviewers, rather than being additionally reviewed by the IOE Head of Research Ethics and Governance and the IOE Director of Operations. This will speed up the process of review. They will undertake an anonymous sample (30%) of the reviews and approvals in their entirety for quality every term and report to the IOE Director as part of the process of agreed ‘delegated authority’.

CATEGORY 2

The process for reviewing and approving face-to-face fieldwork that we have had in place since April 2020 is followed (please see Section 2.1 onwards below)

In this respect:

  • The researcher will still need to verify whether the fieldwork can be carried out remotely before making any plans for person-to-person interaction
  • The review process will include additional review by the IOE Head of Research Ethics and Governance, and the IOE Director of Operations
Section 1: General information and guidance

Please make sure you regularly check the following:

  • UCL guidance in relation to research and the developing situation can be found on their FAQs for staff.
    • The guidance and FAQs are updated regularly and provide links to guidance from individual funders about their approach to funded research during the COVID-19 situation to mitigate some of the implications.
  • UCL’s data protection office material including COVID-19 and data protection at UCL can be found on their COVID-19 Data Protection FAQs.
  • UCL link to research funders' guidance and advice can be found on their COVID Impact on Research Funding page.
Section 2: IOE starting or resuming face-to-face fieldwork

This updated guidance addresses:

  • starting new face-to-face fieldwork
  • resuming face-to-face fieldwork that was underway prior to pausing or moving to remote/online methods due to COVID-19 in Spring 2020
  • the decision-making process to authorise face-to-face fieldwork.

This new material is for:

  • staff researchers in designing the start or re-start of face-to-face fieldwork
  • members of IOE involved in approving research
  • staff involved in the ethical review of research
  • PGR students whose ethics applications have been referred to the REC.

The guidance must be read and followed.

Section 2.1: Introduction

In light of the current circumstances we find ourselves in as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that staff rethink how interactions are conducted in any live research projects involving human participants, and how to take care of those involved in the research, as well as themselves as researchers.

Our previous requirement was that all face-to-face interactions with research participants must cease and data collection for all live research involving human participants be moved online/remotely where possible, and if not possible, the research was to be paused or terminated.

The current contexts of the evolving pandemic are changing and changeable. This means that researchers and any potential fieldwork participants do not find themselves in situations that are constant in relation to areas such as risk and safety. We are also aware that contexts are extremely varied and changeable. The recent guidance from 6 September 2021 tries to recognize this diversity.

Our advice is strongly premised on a ‘safety first’ approach, in that:

  • Research fieldwork should, where safety cannot be guaranteed, be conducted by remote means.
  • If you cannot guarantee the safety of participants and researchers, in relation to COVID-19, then data collection must continue to be paused, or appropriate online data collection methods must be designed.
  • If you are making a decision about whether to restart or start research involving face-to-face interactions, you must also be sure that any potential future pause in the study caused by a fresh lockdown will not be detrimental to the interests, mental health or wellbeing of participants. For example, if relationships are restarted, or begun, which will later be paused then it is important for researchers to be sure that participants will not be adversely affected by this breaking of relationship or engagement. As noted in Section 2.3.2 below, it is essential to take seriously your ethical obligation not to place extra burden on your participants such that risks outweigh benefits for the participant.
  • Our approach places the safety and wellbeing of research staff and participants at the forefront. We recognise the complexities connected to this in relation to understandings of research as a benefit, and participation in it, as a desirable activity, including: the chance research provides for participants voices to be heard and the importance of researching specific issues relating to, and implications of, the pandemic. 

We recognise that there is also an ethical issue in not researching people's experiences and perspectives, thereby excluding them from knowledge production. This is relevant in relation to people, for example, who won't have ready access to online technologies, or may not feel comfortable using them because of status concerns (e.g. undocumented migrants).

Please see Section 2.4 on access to support to reflect and discuss such complexities in designing and submitting your research for ethical review.

Section 2.2: At a glance for Principal Investigators (PIs)

Starting new face-to-face fieldwork at non-UCL settings: PIs and Ethical Review

CATEGORY 1(A) - Covid-19 Restrictions have been removed

Actions - please complete and submit on Moodle the:

  1. Standard ethics documentation: , and information sheets, and consent forms
  2. In Section 1(m) of the standard ethics application form (i) indicate that this is a Category 1(A) application and
  3. In section 1(m) of the standard ethics application form provide confirmation, such as the link shown here, (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do#england-has-moved-to-step-4 Accessed July 19 2021) or an attachment pdf, indicating that restrictions have been lifted in the research country context at the time of the ethics application
  4.  - We are still offering this as an option as staff may wish to note that they are taking Covid-19 precautions in relation to travel, face to face contact, or in relation to ‘heightened risk for vulnerable groups’ even though national requirements are lifted.

The application form and risk assessment will be reviewed as part of the standard IOE ethics review process. This means your application will be reviewed by 2 IOE ethics reviewers, rather than being additionally reviewed by the IOE Head of Research Ethics and Governance and the IOE Director of Operations. This will speed up the process of review. They will undertake an anonymous sample (30%) of the reviews and approvals in their entirety for quality every term and report to the IOE Director as part of the process of agreed ‘delegated authority’.

CATEGORY 1(B) - Restrictions are still in place, but face-to-face contact is allowed

  1. In Section 1(m) of the standard (i) indicate that this is a Category 1(B) application and 
  2. In Section 1(m) of the standard ethics application form provide confirmation, by a web link or an attachment pdf, indicating that restrictions are still in place, but face to face contact is allowed in the research country context at the time of the ethics application
  3. Submit, in parallel the 
  4. Attach any guidance concerning safety related to the context of your setting**.

*All of the above documents can also be accessed on the IOE Research Ethics webpage.

The application form, fieldwork proforma and risk assessment will be reviewed as part of the standard IOE ethics review process. This means your application will be reviewed by 2 IOE ethics reviewers, rather than being additionally reviewed by the IOE Head of Research Ethics and Governance and the IOE Director of Operations. This will speed up the process of review. They will undertake an anonymous sample (30%) of the reviews and approvals in their entirety for quality every term and report to the IOE Director as part of the process of agreed ‘delegated authority’.

**Please note that if your research does not have a specific site or setting, or takes place in a multi-site context, contact the IOE Research Ethics Office and we will advise you.

CATEGORY 2 – All face to face fieldwork that does not fall under 1A or 1B

The process for reviewing and approving face-to-face fieldwork that we have had in place since April 2020 is followed for Category 2. If your country's context does not fall within Category 1A or 1B, researchers should normally conduct their research using online methods. This can be submitted using the standard process.

However, for Category 2 contexts, should a researcher wish to make the case for face to face methods then the process below must be followed:

  1. The researcher will need to accompany their application with a statement in Section 2 of the ‘Starting Fieldwork Proforma’ justifying why face-to-face data collection, rather than online methods, is necessary to the research and can be conducted safely in relation to COVID-19 risks.
  2. Submit the usual and information sheets, consent forms and supporting documentation, via Moodle*. We expect to see consideration of COVID-related protection of participants in Section 8 of the standard application form.
  3. In Section 1(m) of the standard ethics application form (i) indicate that this is a Category 2 application.
  4. Submit, in parallel the 
  5. Attach any guidance concerning safety related to the context of your setting**.
  6. The email justifying face-to-face data collection methods, the standard application form, starting fieldwork proforma, risk assessment and any attachments will be reviewed by 2 IOE ethics reviewers, one of whom will be the IOE Head of Research Ethics and Governance. In addition the IOE Director of Operations or delegated member of staff will review the application, as part of the process of agreed ‘delegated authority’ on behalf of the IOE Director.

*All of the above documents can also be accessed on the IOE Research Ethics webpage, or by emailing the IOE Research Ethics team on ioe.researchethics@ucl.ac.uk

Resuming face-to-face fieldwork at non-UCL settings: PIs and Ethical Review

  1. Submit your original ethics application form and attachments such as information sheets and consent forms via Moodle, highlighting the updating of your application. Supply any attachments needed to reflect new arrangements that address the contexts of COVID-19.
  2. Please read Category 1(A) (Covid-19 Restrictions have been removed) and 1(B) (Restrictions are still in place, but face-to-face contact is allowed) to see which best reflects the context in which you are resuming your research. This will affect which attachments you need to include.
  3. If your research falls within Category 2 and you wish to resume face-to-face data collection, please contact the IOE Research Ethics Office to discuss this and the process you would need to follow.

Additional attachments/details:

If Category 1(A) add to the original application form:

If Category 1(B) add to the original application form, or submit as follows:

Attach any guidance concerning safety related to the context(s) of your setting.

*All of the above documents can be accessed on the IOE Research Ethics webpage, or by emailing the IOE Research Ethics team on ioe.researchethics@ucl.ac.uk 

** Please note that if your research does not have a specific site or setting, or takes place in a multi-site context, contact the IOE Research Ethics Office and we will advise you

Please note:

Section 2.3: IOE framework for Starting or Resuming face-to-face fieldwork

This framework is for:

  • IOE researchers
  • IOE’s Executive Group including the Pro-Director Research and Development and Director of Operations; the IOE Head of Research Ethics and Governance and the IOE REC who make decisions about starting or resuming fieldwork
  • postgraduate research, postgraduate taught and MRes students are outside the scope of this framework. They should follow the relevant guidance on thesis, dissertation, project and placement.

The key aims of the framework are to guide:

  • starting new face-to-face fieldwork
  • resuming fieldwork that was underway prior to the move to remote working in mid-March 2020
  • the decision-making process to authorise only fieldwork that can be undertaken safely and cannot be carried out remotely.

The following IOE framework detail draws on the UCL framework for starting or resuming fieldwork at non-UCL settings and adapts this for IOE fieldwork. This material will be reviewed and updated by IOE in dialogue with the UCL Fieldwork Framework Group. The UCL Framework is owned and maintained by the Fieldwork Framework Group which reports to the Health and Safety Committee and Research Ethics Committee. 

The framework complements and supports the Guidance for UCL Researchers regarding on-going research and ethical approval in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Section 2.3.1: Strategic objectives
  • to restore IOE fieldwork where it is safe to do so.
  • to provide a structure for decision-making to start or resume IOE fieldwork
  • to work in close collaboration with key stakeholders (including funders, partners and participants) to ensure their needs and concerns are recognised and addressed appropriately.
Section 2.3.2: Guiding principles
  • The framework is intended to support resuming or starting fieldwork during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the fluid situation (where fresh lockdowns or restrictions may be imposed at national or regional levels), this guidance will be reviewed and refreshed.
  • The framework is intended to create a structure to inform IOE decision-making in pursuance of proportionate and pragmatic arrangements.
  • The decision on whether researchers can resume or start fieldwork rests with IOE’s Executive Group. This is currently delegated to the IOE Director of Operations and the IOE Head of Research Ethics as part of the IOE Research Ethics Review process.
  • The pace of a restart will be influenced by preconditions that must be met prior to resuming research (see next section).
  • There is likely to be variable and rapidly changing levels of research capacity and safety in different geographical regions, sites and organisations.
  • Those wishing to undertake face-to-face field-based research should ensure that a sense of trust and partnership informs how fieldwork is planned and managed. The needs of staff, partners and participants must be recognised and addressed in any fieldwork carried out during the pandemic. There should be opportunities for them to feed into fieldwork arrangements.
  • Any fieldwork must be compliant with the UCL Code of Conduct for Research. Any research that requires ethical approval must go through the existing IOE process.
  • Nothing in this framework replaces or supersedes any existing UCL policy. If there is any contradiction between the framework and a UCL policy, the policy has primacy.

Viability

Principle: only fieldwork that is viable should start or resume.

  • The researcher should verify that face-to-face fieldwork can be carried out safely, otherwise it must be paused or conducted remotely.
  • Fieldwork plans should undergo a viability check and approval via the IOE Research Ethics approval process outlined here before starting or resuming. The researcher needs to address ethical, financial and practical viability in making the case for starting or resuming research in the current circumstances. It is understood that the interpretation of these areas will vary according to discipline and context.
  • The researcher is expected to work with any partners to conduct a preliminary assessment. Where the assessment identifies viability issues that require resolution these should be resolved before any request is made to resume or start fieldwork.
  • Changes to fieldwork plans and protocols may require approval from the funder in advance. If so, the researcher should work with Research Services to ensure that necessary approvals are in place.

Safety

Principle: fieldwork should only start or resume when safe to do so.

  • risk of exposure to COVID-19 (and measures to mitigate this) as identified in the IOE COVID-19 Fieldwork risk assessment
  • clearly identified responsibilities for site safety control including the monitoring of identified controls in the risk assessment
  • government guidance on social distancing, restart of work, and travel (in the UK and where the fieldwork takes place, if abroad
  • local site policies (including clearly identified responsibilities for safety control and the monitoring of identified controls) in respect of COVID-19
  • adequate protection of people who would be defined by the NHS as high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) and moderate risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • assessment of individual risks and the need for additional controls for those in the higher risk group
  • assessment of the needs for personal protective equipment (PPE) by staff and participants
  • assessment of the physical and mental wellbeing of staff and participants
  • site compliance with protocol and regulatory requirements
  • participants’ concerns about COVID-19 (they need to feel safe and reassured about the fieldwork)
  • provision of clear guidance on safety issues and measures for staff and participants from the host or partner organization
  • assessment of requirements, processes and safety for travelling to and attending fieldwork visits and meetings (the number of people involved should be as minimal as possible and issues connected to lone working should be addressed)
  • processes for dealing with emergencies (and the potential for a reduced level of emergency response)
  • processes for dealing with persons reporting they are feeling unwell
  • processes for keeping in contact with teams and constantly review of risks assessments and any work being conducted
  • assessment that any mitigations put in place to restart or resume fieldwork do not have an adverse impact on participant safety.

Capacity and site readiness

Principle: The pace of starting or resuming fieldwork should be commensurate with capacity and readiness of field sites.

Effective fieldwork will be dependent on partners and non-UCL settings being ‘open for business’. Capacity is likely to be variably reduced by several factors (such as: the type of location, availability of staff, additional measures required to ensure personal safety, and variation in local and national restrictions). 

Preconditions include:

  • availability and capacity of staff and partners
  • capacity of partners to undertake fieldwork
  • physical access arrangements for participants, in light of social distancing, reduced public transport, and reduction in support from third sector organisations or third parties
  • confirmation from the funder to start or resume fieldwork that has been amended from that originally planned.
Section 2.3.3: Equality, diversity and inclusion
  1. Researchers should recognise that restrictions can change on how they and other staff engage with participants and each other. For instance, face coverings will increase communication difficulties for many people.
  2. Researchers should be aware that others involved in a project (including other staff) may not be able to contribute immediately, or at the same level, due to ill health, caring responsibilities, self-isolation, or difficulties involved in travelling. Specific contextual support for participants or for researchers may need to be addressed and resourced to ensure equity of participation. There should be especial attention paid to our duty of care to those involved and to ensure that sensitivity is shown in relation to the new contexts and pressures created by COVID19. Participants must be reminded that involvement in a research project is voluntary and they can withdraw at any time.
  3. It is crucial to ensure that fieldwork engages with the different contexts of those involved in relation to how they are affected by the presence of COVID19 and that such differences are addressed in respect of participant and researcher safety. The design of any fieldwork must make clear how this is prioritised and makes the processes explicit to participants within the provision of information and consent processes. There is increasing evidence, for example, that BAME communities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and may be clinically vulnerable. Older people are significantly more vulnerable than younger people. Asymptomatic carriers of the virus are an acknowledged phenomenon.
  4. It is crucial to ensure that fieldwork engages with the different contexts of those involved in relation to how they are affected by the presence of COVID19 and that such differences are addressed in respect of participant and researcher safety. The design of any fieldwork must make clear how this is prioritised and make the processes explicit to participants within the provision of information and consent processes.
Section: 2.3.4: Research hosted by another academic institution, organisation or business
  1. IOE researchers should follow the access protocols set by the host organisation. If the researcher has concerns over the protocols of the host organisation, these should be resolved before any fieldwork resumes or starts.
  2. If protocols are not provided by the host organisation, this should be regarded as a higher level of risk. IOE researchers will need to take into account government regulations such as those on cleaning, social distancing, self-isolation, use of public transport, and use of facemasks and hand sanitisers. Please contact the IOE Research Ethics Office should you wish to discuss this.
Section 2.3.5: Regulation by UK governments, devolved governments and foreign governments

Researchers should be aware that there are different regulations and approaches to reopening in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They should follow the local guidelines where the research is being conducted.

Regulations and guidance are changing on a regular basis and researchers need to ensure that they meet those in force when fieldwork is conducted.

Regulations by respective governments:

Researchers based abroad and working on behalf of UCL must follow local laws and guidelines.

Section 2.3.6: Concerns and research integrity
  1. Any concerns regarding the start or resumption of fieldwork can be raised with the IOE Research Ethics Team at ioe.researchethics@ucl.ac.uk

2. Any allegations of research misconduct must follow existing procedures and policies.

UCL policies that can be drawn on:

Section 2.4: Staff researchers: support and who can I talk to?

Departmental Heads of Research can offer support in thinking about issues concerning design and any attendant issues concerning pausing or terminating research and data collection and storage.

If your Departmental Head of Research can’t help you because they are unwell, then please contact Lynn Ang, Pro-Director of Research and Development at IOE, copying in her EA, Ali Ma’ayan at alison.maayan@ucl.ac.uk

If there are specific ethical dimensions concerning thinking through or communicating changes to participants, consent, or aspects of moving online then please feel free to contact your Research Ethics Committee Departmental Representative (to find your representative, please see heading at bottom of the IOE Research Ethics page). If your Departmental representative of the IOE REC is unwell, please contact the IOE Research Ethics Team at ioe.researchethics@ucl.ac.uk and we will do our best to offer you advice and support.

The UCL FAQs for staff page has details concerning mental health support at this time. We realise this unusual circumstance can raise complex feelings, so please do not hesitate to access support services.

Appendix A - Glossary

  • BAME - Black, Asian, and minority ethnic
  • Co-I - Co-Investigator
  • Fieldwork - The collection of raw data outside a laboratory, library, or workplace setting
  • H&SC - Health and Safety Committee
  • Non-UCL setting - Any site or building that is not controlled by UCL
  • Doctoral student - A student studying for a research degree
  • PGT - Postgraduate taught student
  • Participant - A human participant in a research project or initiative
  • P.I - Principal Investigator - the researcher responsible for leading a research initiative or project (sponsored or non-sponsored)
  • PPE - Personal protective equipment
  • REC - Research Ethics Committee
  • UCL researchers - Any member of UCL staff or a UCL doctoral student involved in research.

Appendix B – UCL Fieldwork Checklist

In developing your research and IOE Ethics Application, you may also find it helpful to draw on UCL’s Fieldwork start or resumption of fieldwork checklist, found in Appendix B of the Framework for starting or resuming fieldwork at non-UCL settings.