Newcastle University defines any research undertaken outside and/or with collaborators outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) as international.
The only exception is where research is undertaken at Newcastle University Singapore or Newcastle University Malaysia. Research conducted by researchers at these campuses can be classed as local for the purposes of ethical review if:
- The research is undertaken within the local country (i.e. Singapore or Malaysia) and
- The research does not involve collaborators outside of the local country or EEA.
For further information regarding ethical approval at international campuses, please see the University Guidance on the Ethical Approval of International Research and Research at International Branch Campuses [PDF; 156KB].
Risks & governanceRisks & governance
International research may pose additional risks to researchers and participants. For example, research undertaken:
- In areas of war, or with high crime rates, could pose additional safety risks.
- In countries with virus outbreaks, e.g. Zika, could pose additional health risks.
- In countries with less legal protections than the EEA, e.g. countries without data privacy laws for personal data, could pose additional legal risks.
Researchers will need to consider the risks involved, and implement measures to remove/reduce these. The benefit of the research must outweigh any risk/harm.
Where overseas standards do not meet those in the EEA, researchers should always strive to conduct their research in line with EEA standards. Where this is not possible, researchers must explain the reasons for this within their ethics application.
In addition to the ethical considerations, researchers must ensure they adhere to the following policies and procedures:
- Researchers travelling abroad will need to complete a Travel Abroad Risk Assessment, (please see the Occupational Health & Safety website for more information).
- Researchers will need to ensure they have the adequate insurance in place.
- Personal data may only be transferred outside of the EEA in compliance with the conditions set out in the General Data Protection Act (GDPR).
Research involving political or cultural sensitive issuesResearch involving political or cultural sensitive issues
Researchers need to consider how their research could impact the people they are studying, whether the research will benefit their participants or put them at risk of harm in any way. Particular care should be taken when considering the impacts of research involving political or cultural sensitive issues.
Examples of research involving political or cultural sensitive issues include:
- Ethnographic field work, involving the study of people and cultures.
- Studying ethnopolitical issues, looking at the intersection of ethnic groups and politics.
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