New TCD Course Promotes Research Ethics at 4th Level

Posted on: 17 July 2008

For the first time at an Irish University, postgraduate students across all disciplines had an opportunity to investigate the specifically ethical aspects and obligations of their 4th level research in an innovative module delivered at TCD.

The ethics module, which is a Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) project, was developed by Professor Linda Hogan and Professor Maureen Junker-Kenny, of TCD’s Irish School of Ecumenics and School of Religions and Theology, in collaboration with UCC and NUIG. The course, part of the new structured PhD education initiatives,  fosters collaboration between researchers, ethicists, and stakeholders from Irish and international backgrounds and is open to postgraduate student researchers from the three universities.

The module analyses how key terms of international research ethics conventions, for example, autonomy, dignity, consent, are interpreted and implemented within different traditions of moral and legal argumentation in Europe. It enables postgraduates to explore which issues are morally relevant, to reflect on and to articulate the ethical integrity and relevance of their research in shaping everyone’s lifeworld in the future.

Speakers at the course included Professor Frank Gannon of Science Foundation Ireland, and Professor Alan Kelly, Dean of Graduate Studies of UCC, on the ethical integrity of the researcher; Professor Dietmar Mieth, from University of Tübingen, Germany, on his experience of drafting Opinions in the European Group of Ethics (EGE) at the European Commission in Brussels; Dr Jean Whyte, Children’s Research Centre, TCD, and Professor Desmond O’Neill, Medical Gerontology, TCD on consent from vulnerable subjects; Dr Patrick Sheridan of UCD on animal ethics; and Dr Deirdre Stritch, NQAI, and Dr Gladys Ganiel, ISE Belfast, on research in post-conflict communities.

For further information please download:

Prof Linda Hogan pictured with the Dean of Graduate Studies, Carol O’Sullivan, Prof Alan Kelly of UCC, and Prof Maureen Junker-Kenny.