School of Computing Research Ethics for Undergraduate and Taught Graduate Students

This page describes the policy of the School of Computing for ensuring research projects at undergraduate and taught Masters levels conform to the University's guidelines for research ethics best practice. PhD supervisors or Principal Investigators for funded projects are responsible for ensuring that projects at PhD level or funded from outside sources, conform to the University's guidelines.

1. At the start of each academic year, notification is sent to all final year (EC, CA) and taught Masters students in the School of Computing, briefly highlighting the importance of ethics, stating it's covered in modules on their courses, and pointing at the University policy as described by the DCU Research Ethics Committee (REC).

2. The School Research Ethics page gathers together the links to the various forms on the DCU REC website and offers a local School-level approval by uploading a completed notification form, plain language statement and informed consent form, completed for their project.

3. Local school approval for a "notification"-level submission is done on a rolling basis. Once a student uploads a submission it is emailed to the School Research Ethics Committee who review it, and a minimum of two panel members must approve and notification is sent back to the student and supervisor. In the case of any concerns by any individual panel member reviewing an application, the application should be referred to a majority panel vote and if not approved will be referred to the University's Research Ethics Committee. Where a panel member is involved in a submission as a project supervisor, s/he may not be involved in the assessment of a submission.

4. Coordinators of EC4, CA4, CPSSD and Masters practicum projects are asked to include a question on project submission forms as to whether a project falls into the category of needing ethics "notification" approval, and for those that do fall into this category then students can be asked to show evidence of School ethics approval and of use of the informed consent and plain language statements, as part of their project assessment.

5. At the end of each Academic year, a summary of all School-level ethics approvals is sent to the REC.

The School Committee for Research Ethics for Undergraduate and Taught Graduate Students consists of the following five members:

  • Prof. Alan Smeaton
  • Dr. Alex O'Connor
  • Dr. Marija Bezbradica
  • Dr. Andrew McCarren
  • Dr. Darragh O'Brien
  • Renaat Verbruggen
  • Dr. Monica Ward

Policy approved by School of Computing, March 2013