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Ethics Policy

I. Introduction

At Global Family Care Network (SCIO) and St. James Research Centre (SJRC) (hereafter referred to as “Global Family”), we are committed to carrying out our research, teaching, and other activities with an ethical framework. We strive to accomplish positive good and to achieve positive outcomes through our work and research and aim to reduce any negative and adverse unintended consequences of our activities. Activities involving research and studies on human participants always require formal ethical consideration, however, studies which involve potential risk of damage to the environment, political and social sensitivity, as well as impact on culture and heritage, should also be considered through an ethical understanding of research.


We expect that staff, students, contractors, partners, and visitors are aware of ethical considerations, act in an ethical manner when engaged on any business related to Global Family, and conduct their projects, studies, and work to the highest ethical standards.


II. Purpose


The purpose of this policy is to:


  1. Set out the principles applicable to all work and study at Global Family, or in the name of Global Family;

  2. Provide members of Global Family with an understanding of the ethical review process;

  3. Support a culture of academic excellence and good practice by providing a framework for review which subjects research proposals with scrutiny in proportion to the possible risk of harm to others, including participants, researchers, society, and Global Family.


III. Scope


This policy applies to all staff and students of Global Family, as well as partners, visitors, individuals, collaborators, and agents conducting research and other studies in the name of or at Global Family. It extends to cover consultancy activities. This policy does not apply to operational decisions or actions taken by Global Family relating to financial, facilities, procurement, or human resources matters as these are subject to different review processes.


IV. Principles of Ethical Research


Global Family meets the following principles by communicating them to staff and students through training, publication of this and related policies, and through the ethical review of its studies and work.


  1. Studies ad research should be designed, reviewed, and undertaken to ensure integrity, quality, and transparency.

  2. Participants must be fully informed about the research or study they are invited to participate in and their consent to take part must be made voluntarily, freely, and without any coercion. Consents should be recorded, ideally in writing.

  3. Risks should be managed so that harm and/or damage arising from the research is avoided or minimized wherever possible and measures should be taken to ensure that the benefits of research/study should outweigh any potential harm or damage caused.

  4. The independence of the research/study must be clear, and any conflicts of interest or partiality must be explicit.

  5. The same high ethical standards shall apply wherever in the world the study/research is undertaken.


V. Ethical Review Process


Global Family provides a competent and rigorous process of ethical review for research undertaken by staff and students. The Ethics Committee has overall responsibility for the ethical review process. Each faculty should ensure that their arrangements for ethical review are adequate to cover all relevant aspects of the research and studies undertaken by staff, students, partners, and visitors. The Ethics Committee is chaired by the Director and is responsible for developing and monitoring this policy.


Global Family expects all staff, students, partners, and visitors to take personal responsibility for reading and understanding this policy. It is the responsibility of the chief investigator or researcher for any study to ensure that their colleagues are aware of and comply with this policy. Researchers are also required to ensure that their research is conducted in compliance with the standards of their funding bodies and/or any professional and academic bodies or associations relevant with their discipline. Researchers are also required to comply with all relevant health and safety requirements.


VI. Sanctions


Any breach of this policy will be taken seriously and may result in disciplinary action. This may include proceedings for gross misconduct if the breach is committed by a staff member, or formal disciplinary hearings if the breach is committed by a student. Partners and visitors in breach of this policy may have their partner or visitor status reviewed or withdrawn.

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