Ethical Considerations on EC Grants
In addition to the University’s own research ethics policies and guidance (which can be found here), the EC undertake their own review of ethical issues for each project on a case by case basis.
When applying for EC funding, a self-assessment Ethics Issues Table is completed and submitted with the application, providing preliminary information on any issues raised. The table is reviewed by a panel of independent ethics experts when a proposal is considered for funding. Where one or more ethical issues have been raised, the EC will undertake an Ethics Screening of the project, investigating any ethical considerations around project objectives, methodology or potential impact.
If complex or particularly sensitive ethical issues are involved, the EC may also conduct a further Ethics Assessment. This constitutes a more in-depth analysis of the proposals and ethical issues, evaluating the nature of the issues and proposed management during research activity.
The PI or consortium will need to respond to questions raised before the project can start; providing comprehensive information of methods and demonstrating all ethical issues have been factored into the research work being undertaken.
Following this screening and any further assessment, the EC can implement specific Ethics Checks/Audits in addition to any processes or policies on research ethics at Departmental, School or University level. This may include mid-term and end of project reports, ongoing reporting on specific ethical issues or milestones, or the appointment or an external ethics advisor to review and provide guidance on ethical issues.
Exact monitoring and reporting requirements are specific to individual projects; if awarded EC funding for a project where there are ethical considerations, please do contact the HSS School Research Team to discuss any queries or for advice on best practice.
More information can also be found in the H2020 online manual here.