Latest News

UniSAFE Inventory of the Research Lessons Learned in the Field of Ethics

Jan 31, 2024 | Blog, Project news

The Inventory of the Research Lessons Learned in the Field of Ethics presents a set of reflections regarding the ethical dimension of studying gender-based violence that stems from this transnational, multi-site and multi-design research project on gender-based violence in academia. The UniSAFE study conducted an extensive policy mapping at the national and institutional levels, a cross-national survey of 45 European academic organisations, 16 case studies on the institutional responses to gender-based violence conducted in 15 countries and 52 online in-depth interviews with researchers who had experienced or witnessed gender-based violence.

Key components

The Inventory of the Research Lessons Learned in the Field of Ethics presents twenty lessons grouped into four main parts: (I) Building an Ethical System for the Research Project, (II) Research Participants, (III) Researchers, and (IV) Data. It also includes a brief introduction explaining how to use the Inventory as well as a warning on ways some institutions misuse research ethics to avoid studies on gender-based violence.

  • Building an Ethical System for the Research Project

The first part of this Inventory discusses setting the ethical framework (lesson 1) and implementing it in the research (lesson 2), as well as creating project bodies aimed at supporting research ethics (lesson 3), applying for ethical approval (lesson 4) and preparing for difficult and unexpected issues (for instance, incidental findings) that can occur in research (lesson 5).

  • Research Participants

The second part of the Inventory presents key issues concerning research participants of studies on gender-based violence, namely, ways of reaching out to them (lesson 1), the process of obtaining informed consent (lesson 2), protection of participants’ safety (lesson 3) and ensuring their well-being (lesson 4) as well as giving back to those who participated in the study (lesson 5).

  • Researchers

The third part of the Inventory is dedicated to researchers and includes lessons concerning training on research ethics (lesson 1) and resolution of internal conflicts emerging in research teams as well as between researchers and research institutions (lesson 2), clarifying the role of researchers (lesson 3), emphasising the importance of reflexivity and multi-positionality (lesson 4) as well as dealing with emotional consequences that studying gender-based violence can have on researchers (lesson 5).

  • Data

The fourth part of the Inventory addresses essential issues related to data, including the significance of legal regulations (lesson 1), safeguarding data confidentiality (lesson 2), secure storage and protection of data (lesson 3), resolving concerns connected to research data and results ownership (lesson 4), and creating a research project’s authorship policy (lesson 5).