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Research Skills: Ethics, Principles and Sustainability

Ethics, Principles and Sustainability skills required of excellent PhD or doctoral students

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12 November 2010

An excellent researcher at doctoral or PhD level:

  • Shows knowledge and understanding of ethical requirements and codes of conduct appropriate for discipline/research area, research council and professional association/body.
  • Takes responsibility for ethics in own project.
  • Demonstrates awareness of issues relating to the rights of other researchers, of research subjects, and of others who may be affected by the research.
  • Is mindful of the environment and own impact on it. Understands how to behave and work in a sustainable way.
  • Understands the concept of corporate social responsibility; seeks guidance as necessary.

Looking ahead, a doctoral student can aim to become an excellent early-career researcher who:

  • Understands and applies the relevant guidelines for the ethical conduct of research involving people, human tissue and animals and considers the impact of own research on people and animals.
  • Makes own ethical judgements about work and advises less experienced researchers and students. Challenges potential or actual unethical behaviour of others.
  • Acts and works in a responsible way to create a sustainable environment.
  • Note: These skills are identified in the UK Researcher Development Framework – where they appear as C1.2 Professional Conduct: Ethics, Principles and Sustainability

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