gavel and testtubesResearch Ethics

Our reflection on research ethics is informed by our work in continuing professional development and training of practitioners. Researchers at PEALS are frequently called on to support the ethical aspects of a research project as either a formal collaborator or in an advisory/consultative capacity.

 Beyond this, we are interested  in scrutinising the research ethics enterprise as a whole. This involves:

  • reflecting on the practice of doing biomedical and bioethical research ethically
  • evaluating how the framework of national research ethics and governance fits the needs of contemporary real world research.

Below is a list of current and past projects on research ethics:

Adults lacking capacity in research: The experience of using consultees in the context of time critical research. (2012, with the support of the National Research Ethics Service). Principal Investigator Simon Woods with Andrew Padkin and Lorna Burrows

MetalHip: Using patient experiences to improve medical engineering design 2011-2012, EPSRC, £25,000 to PEALS, Principal Investigator Dr Tom Joyce, School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering with PEALS Research Associate Pauline McCormack

Research Designs: living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy 2009-2013, ESRC collaborative studentship with TREAT-NMD). Sarah Skyrme is the PhD student and Janice McLaughlin and Simon Woods are the academic supervisors

Developmental Gene Expression Map (DGEMap) 2005-7, EU Commission, £1,180,238 of which £94,419 to PEALS, Work Package Leader Simon Woods, Principal Investigator Susan Lindsay, Institute of Genetic Medicine

Funding an independent research nurse to avoid conflict of interest between clinical treatment and research 2003,  Medical Research Council, Principal Investigator Alison Murdoch, with Marilyn Strachan and Erica Haimes, £259,599 of which £56,602 to PEALS

A comparative study in participation and non-participation in the North Cumbria Community Genetics Project 2001-3, Wellcome Trust, £72,334 to PEALS, Principal Investigator Erica Haimes

Latest publications in this area include:

McCormack P, Woods S. Disputing the ethics of research: the challenge from bioethics and patient activism to the interpretation of the Declaration of Helsinki in clinical trials. Bioethics 2012, (epub ahead of print).

Woods S, Hagger LE, McCormack P. Therapeutic misconception: hope, trust and misconception in translational research for rare disease. 2011. Submitted.

Barr M, Zhang JY. Bioethics and Biosecurity Education in China: Rise of a Scientific Superpower. In: Rappert, B, ed. Education and Ethics in the Life Sciences: Strengthening the Prohibition of Biological Weapons. Canberra: Australian National University Press, 2010, pp. 115-129.