Interim guidance for research involving humans

Due to the current situation, research involving travel or face-to-face contact must stop, and no new projects involving either of these can begin. 

This means that researchers must either:

  • conduct their research remotely or online or
  • postpone their research until face-to-face interaction is again allowed.

Researchers should also consider whether the quality and integrity of the data will be compromised by moving to remote methods or if this would bring additional (or different) ethical considerations.

Researchers should consider also the ethical issues around conducting any kind of research during a period of crisis. 

How long will this guidance be in place?

This guidance must be followed until further notice. In the first instance, it is intended that it will be in place until the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.

At the end of this period, the University will review this guidance to decide if it is still appropriate. The University may review the guidance sooner if the situation substantially changes, the University or Government amends its guidance, or significant operational issues are identified. 

Alternative data collection methods

There are several alternatives to face-to-face research. The most common include:

Use the links above to visit the guidance page before making an application for research using these methods.

Alternativel methods for collecting data from participants can include:

  • diaries (including video or audio)
  • blogs
  • self-report measures
  • art or creative activities.

For these and other less-common methods, researchers should consult discipline or method-specific resources. 

When using online or remote methods, researchers should consider the implications this may have for recruiting participants, obtaining informed consent and maintaining confidentiality

Researchers must also remember that although data and participants are easily accessible online, there are still ethical or legal issues that need to be considered.