Ethics in Overseas Fieldwork
RiDNet hosted a seminar on Ethics in Overseas Fieldwork on 02 May 2013.
The seminar was aimed at PhD Researchers who will be conducting or have conducted their fieldwork overseas in low to middle income countries. It focused on both general ethical issues of conducting fieldwork overseas, as well as provided guidance for filling in the University of Leeds ethical approval form.
The seminar was run by Jennifer Parr and Rosemary Morgan from the Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development at the University of Leeds.
Designing a research protocol is demanding and all steps of the research process takes time. Having to consider the ethical issues of your fieldwork and having to fill in the ethical approval form can feel quite overwhelming. This demands that you consider all the interlinking elements of the topic and its sensitivity, your own experience and the support systems you need to put in place for both yourself and your respondents. On top of this, you have to choose appropriate methodologies that answer your research questions.
This seminar is designed to help you think through some of these issues and give you the tools to put this onto paper either for the form or in your final write-up. The aim of this seminar is two-fold: provide guidance for participants who need to fill in the University of Leeds ethical approval form, and provide a space for general discussion for those who have completed fieldwork.
This is, of course, a tall order! To facilitate both, we propose to set some pre-seminar work to help, particularly, those who would like guidance on the form. This pre-seminar work was originally developed by me to guide post and undergraduate students in filling out the form with excellent results.
For the seminar itself, there will be space to discuss the issues that come up when filling in the form, as well as general issues that participants would like to discuss after their fieldwork. I will also bring some examples to illustrate some of the typical pitfalls that I have observed over the last fifteen years from former students and my own practice.