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Responsibilities towards sponsors and funders

A common interest exists between sponsor/funding body and researchers as long as the aim of the social inquiry is to advance knowledge, although such knowledge may only be of limited benefit to the sponsor and/or funding body. That relationship is best served if work is conducted with high professional standards.

Researchers should ensure that sponsors and/or funding bodies appreciate the obligations that researchers have not only to them, but also to society at large, research participants and professional colleagues and the research community. The relationship between sponsors or funding bodies and researchers should be such as to enable social/scientific inquiry to be undertaken professionally. In research projects involving multiple funding bodies or collaboration with researchers from other institutions or departments, researchers should consider circulating this statement to colleagues as an aid to the discussion and negotiation of ethical practice.

Research should be undertaken with a view to providing information or explanation rather than being constrained to reach particular conclusions or prescribe particular courses of action. Research should not be undertaken where the researcher suspects the sponsor of having unethical motives.

Some bodies providing funding for projects may stipulate their own Ethical and Legal considerations.  The researcher should be fully aware of any obligations specified by the body providing funding and the implications this may or may not have for their research and methods of research.  For example, anyone with a research grant from ESRC should be aware of the implications of receiving such a grant. 

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