Handing in the Human Ethics Application today felt better than winning lotto. This is just the beginning though… of my 20,000 word Thesis waiting to be written. If you wander into a Postgraduate room and say that you are writing an ethics application, you are sure to attract sympathetic looks and a range of horror stories. Everyone seems to know of someone who took 27 tries and 1 to 2 years to get their application through.
A Human Ethics application is required when your research involves human participants or human tissue or affects people’s privacy, rights and freedoms, it is subject to ethical issues, principles and practices.
My application process has taken nearly 8 months from start to approval. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to restart the whole application, but I’ve written 204 pages about issues like protection of research participants privacy and confidentiality, limitation of deception, minimisation of harm, conflict of interest, social and cultural sensitivity, vulnerability of participants and communities, Treaty of Waitangi, human remains, tissues and bodily fluid, incidental findings and discovering illegal activities, storage, security, destruction and retention of data.
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