In accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki, researchers involving human volunteers to participate as healthy individuals or patients in research investigations are required to safeguard respectful treatment of the study participants.
Research conduct with integrity includes the consideration of the rights and health (physically and mentally) of study participants, who should only be recruited to join a study based on free will, and have the right to privacy and data confidentiality guaranteed as best as possible.
This requirement can apply to observational, exploratory and interventional research in academic disciplines ranging from social science to clinical research.
In Australia, guidelines to protect privacy and confidentiality of study participants in research are published by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), but their use is not restricted to health and medical research and should also be considered for research in some fields of arts & humanities and education, when surveys and interviews for qualitative analysis are used. The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research provides further insight into ethical recruitment strategies, acceptable incentives and consent considerations and requirements.
Based on Australia’s national recommendations for informed consent, Notre Dame has developed its University guideline on Informed Consent and Name-Identified Data, which research staff and students are encouraged to use when designing a research plan.
The research requirement of informed consent is reviewed by Notre Dame’s Human Research Ethics Committee and the Research Office provides templates for Study Participant information Sheets and Consent Forms designed for a range of research studies and study participants.
The Research Office can be contacted for further advice.