Category / Research Ethics

Health Research Authority – ‘helping student researchers get it right first time’

Project-based research taking part in the NHS requires Health Research Authority (HRA) approval, and BU will act as the ‘Sponsor‘ for studies undertaken by its students, postgraduate researchers, or staff.

The HRA realise that the process of applying for your approvals can be daunting, so they have created a working group, with the main goal of considering how best they can support student researchers, and ensure that the process is done correctly, the first time round.

Locally, you can email Suzy, Clinical Governance Advisor, on researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk if you have any queries or need any advice.

 

Useful resources for those involved in clinical research

If you are involved in, or wish to be involved in clinical research, then take a look at this link, where you will find useful resources to support colleagues in getting involved with research, to find out more for yourself, and to help you to encourage more patients to take part too.

If your study will recruit NHS patients or staff, then BU must ‘sponsor’ your project, so remember to involve the Research Ethics team within R&KEO on researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk as early as possible in your study planning.

‘Clinical Research is Everyone’s Future’

If you are interested in clinical research, or interested in working within this field, either on your own project, or as a future career, then take a look at the National Institute for Health Research’s short video about what clinical research is, and how to support it.

Watch the video to find out:

  • Why clinical research is at the core of the NHS
  • How to respond to patient questions about clinical research
  • How to help patients get involved in clinical research

Remember that the Research Ethics mailbox (researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk) is available if you have any queries about your own plans to embark on clinical research within the NHS.

Training opportunity – completing and submitting your IRAS application

Are you currently in the process of designing, setting up or planning your research study, and would like to extend your project into the NHS?

Yes? Then you may want to take advantage of this training opportunity.

Suzy Wignall (Clinical Governance Advisor, R&KEO) and Laura Purandare (Research Q&I Manager, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital) will be running a training session on how to use, and complete your own application within the IRAS system. IRAS (Integrated Research Application System) is the system used to gain approvals from the NHS Research Ethics Committee and Health Research Authority, before rolling out your study to NHS Trusts.

The training will take place in Studland House, room 117 on 4th  July at 09:30am – 12:30pm.

Get in touch with researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk if you would like to register your interest and book a place.

BU will also be required to ‘sponsor’ the research study and we can advise and guide you through the process of applying for this, and on all aspects of conducting research in the NHS.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Training opportunity – completing and submitting your IRAS application

Are you currently in the process of designing, setting up or planning your research study, and would like to extend your project into the NHS?

Yes? Then you may want to take advantage of this training opportunity.

Suzy Wignall (Clinical Governance Advisor, R&KEO) and Laura Purandare (Research Q&I Manager, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital) will be running a training session on how to use, and complete your own application within the IRAS system. IRAS (Integrated Research Application System) is the system used to gain approvals from the NHS Research Ethics Committee and Health Research Authority, before rolling out your study to NHS Trusts.

The training will take place in Studland House, room 117 on 4th  July at 09:30am – 12:30pm.

Get in touch with researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk if you would like to register your interest and book a place.

BU will also be required to ‘sponsor’ the research study and we can advise and guide you through the process of applying for this, and on all aspects of conducting research in the NHS.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Thinking of conducting research in the NHS? – get in touch

Are you currently in the process of designing, setting up or planning your research study, and would like to extend your project into the NHS?

Yes? Then the R&KEO office are here to help!

Get in touch with Suzy on researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk with any queries you may have.
BU will be required to ‘sponsor’ the research study and we can advise and guide you through the process of applying for this, applying for your external approvals, and on all aspects of conducting research in the NHS.

Please remember, you will also be required to submit a BU online ethics checklist via https://ethics.bournemouth.ac.uk/ and to include the R&KEO Research Ethics team at all stages of your clinical research study.

Good Clinical Practice, refresher session 13th June – booking closes tomorrow

Are you currently undertaking research within the NHS and are due to renew your Good Clinical Practice (GCP) certification?

GCP certification lasts for two years, so if your training is due to expire or you want to validate your learning, then take advantage of the upcoming refresher half day session, taking place at Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital, Wednesday 13th June, 9am until 12:30pm.

Booking closes on 6th June, so if you’re interested in attending, please get in touch as soon as possible, by emailing researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk

Good Clinical Practice, refresher session 13th June – booking closes 6th June

Are you currently undertaking research within the NHS and are due to renew your Good Clinical Practice (GCP) certification?

GCP certification lasts for two years, so if your training is due to expire, then take advantage of the upcoming refresher half day session, taking place at Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital, Wednesday 13th June, 9am until 12:30pm.

Booking closes on 6th June, so if you’re interested in attending, please get in touch as soon as possible, by emailing researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk

Research Ethics @ BU

Planning Ahead – A Reminder (Staff & PGRs)

If you’re hoping to start data collection activities at the beginning of September and are in the process of completing your research ethics checklist, please remember that during August there are NO Research Ethics Panel Meetings.  If you want to start your data collection activity in August/September, please submit your checklist in time for Panel meetings to be held in June or July.  Checklists (for ‘above minimal risk’ projects) received during August will be deferred until the Panels reconvene in September (dates to be advised).

Reviews for low risk projects (Staff and Postgraduate Research) will continue as normal during August.

More details about the review process and Panel meeting dates can be found on the Research Ethics Blog.  Email enquiries should be sent to researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Patients across Wessex report positive experience of research

The National Institute for Health Research oversee 15 Clinical Research Networks (CRN) throughout England. Locally, NHS Trusts and Universities that are conducting health research will work alongside the Wessex CRN, based in Hedge End, Southampton.

In October of last year, Wessex CRN conducted a survey looking into patient experiences of research across the region.
The results are now available, and show an extremely positive response, with 91% of patients stating they would be happy to participate in another research study, and 94% stating they had a good experience of taking part in research.

The survey likewise raised shortfalls that are important to address going forward. You can view the report here.

If you are thinking of undertaking your own research within the NHS or have any queries related to clinical research, then get in touch with researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk

Conducting research in the NHS – what you need to know

Are you interested in conducting your research project in the NHS? Have you got plans to do so in the future? Or, are you simply interested in the prospect of doing this at some point during your academic or professional career?

If you are then there are additional requirements in order to make this a reality…however, don’t worry, because the R&KEO office can assist you in achieving these, helping to streamline the process.
Get in touch with researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk with any queries you may have.

Please note that BU is required to act as the Sponsor for clinical studies conducted in the NHS, by its students or staff members. The Sponsor is defined as ‘the person or body who takes on ultimate responsibility for the initiation, management and financing (or arranging the financing) of a clinical research study.’
Get in touch with researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk as soon as feasible if you think that your study will require BU to act as Sponsor

Improving Healthcare Through Clinical Research – now live!

Interested in clinical research and what’s involved? Are you contemplating a career in healthcare or the life sciences, or, do you want to find out more about the role of clinical research in improving healthcare?

FutureLearn’s free online course Improving Healthcare Through Clinical Research is now live! You can sign up for the course here https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/clinical-research

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles. By completing the course you will have achieved 16 hours of CPD time.

If you have any queries regarding conducting your own research in the NHS setting, then please get in touch with us on researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk

Council for Allied Health Professions Research

CAHPR is an organisation which aims to help Allied Health Professionals get involved in research and to develop AHP research whilst enhancing healthcare.

Although too short notice, but as an example of how CAHPR could benefit AHPs, the organisation is running a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event tomorrow, 16th May, where colleagues working within AHP clinical research are invited to pitch for £250 funding in support of their clinical research activities (e.g. presentations, conferences, travel etc.).

The CAHPR website acts as a good source of information for AHP students, and signposts where and who to contact if you’re interested in getting involved, alongside a list of upcoming events – http://cahpr.csp.org.uk/

Good Clinical Practice training – Tuesday 15th May – places still available!

Are you thinking of undertaking clinical research, and wish to branch out into the NHS? If you are, then you will need Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training.

GCP training is the international ethical, scientific and practical standard to which all clinical research is conducted. Compliance with GCP provides public assurance that the rights, safety and well-being of research participants are protected and that research data are reliable.

The next face-to-face session locally is scheduled to take place at the Lansdowne Campus, on Tuesday 15th May, 08:45am – 16:30pm, room B317, 3rd Floor, Bournemouth House.

If you would like any more information about the training and its content, or wish to book on, please contact researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk

Free online course! – Improving Healthcare Through Clinical Research

Interested in clinical research and what’s involved? Are you contemplating a career in healthcare or the life sciences, or, do you want to find out more about the role of clinical research in improving healthcare?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, then why not sign up to FutureLearn’s Improving Healthcare Through Clinical Research course?

The course will be available from 21st May, via https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/clinical-research

It is completely free and all online, lasting 4 weeks – registration open now!

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles. By completing the course you will have achieved 16 hours of CPD time.

Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training – 15th May 2018

Are you thinking of undertaking clinical research, and wish to branch out into the NHS? If you are, then you will need Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training.

GCP training is the international ethical, scientific and practical standard to which all clinical research is conducted. Compliance with GCP provides public assurance that the rights, safety and well-being of research participants are protected and that research data are reliable.

GCP courses are free to book onto, and can either be done online or face-to-face. Luckily, the next face-to-face session is scheduled to take place at the Lansdowne Campus, on Tuesday 15th May, 08:45am – 16:30pm, room to be confirmed.

If you would like any more information about the training and its content, or wish to book on, please contact researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk

NHS Research Ethics Committee Members day 2017

Tuesday saw the annual NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC) members training day in London. The learning outcomes of the day were:

  • To provide overview of the pilot work being undertaken in preparation for EU Clinical Trials Regulation
  • To introduce the REWARD Alliance and,
  • To consider how ethics committess can encourage researchers to engage more fully with the scientific literature both before and after studies are conducted

The morning focussed on updates on ethics regulatory procedures, the EU (see link below for slides) and changes in the Data Protection Act (but not the law of confidentiality) that have implications beyond healthcare research. There is also movement for a Public Involvement in Ethical Review (PIER) service, as well as adopting ‘e-consent’ for participation in health research.

EU Regulation_UK Research Ethics Service

The afternoon focussed on the REWARD Alliance and how ethics committees (and researchers) can help reduce waste in research. This group was established to promote a series of articles on research published in early 2014 in The Lancet.

Figure: Stages of waste in producing and reporting of research evidence (Chalmers & Glasziou, The Lancet 2009).

As a researcher and ethical reviewer, the day was insightful, interesting and relevant. Knowledge of the REWARD Alliance, particularly how researchers should diligently plan and prepare projects with clear pathways to dissemination. Although publishing demands differ between academia and industry (including pharmaceutical companies), all research should be designed fom the outset with clear outputs to communicate the findings.

If you would like further information from the day, send me an email.

James

Fake conferences are not fake news: beware predatory conferences

Introduction

Academic have been warned for a decade about predatory Open Access publishers (van Teijlingen 2014). These are commercial organisations charging academics a publication fee on submission of their manuscripts with a promise to publish their work quickly online. The problem is twofold: first, these commercial organisations don’t offer proper peer-review and editorial quality assurance; and secondly, academic are being tricked into believing the journal is a legitimate scientific publication.  The second author receives on average six to eight invitations a week to publish in this kind of predatory journals – see below for examples. The first author, who despite having not worked in an academic institution for over three years, still receives such invitations to publish in ‘Journal X’.

Predatory conferences

A similar phenomenon to predatory journals is the predatory conference (Moital 2014; Nobes 2017; Grove 2017). These are pretend academic conferences of questionable value, established first and foremost to make money, not for the greater good of the academic discipline.

Both authors have received bogus and legitimate invitations to attend conferences. A predicament with such an invitation, which 99% of time arrives by email, is that it is not easy to distinguish between fake and real offers. For example, the first author recently received an offer (at short notice), to attend a conference in Miami in November 2017 (see below). This was on the back of an editorial he had published couple of months earlier. For a career researcher going from contract to contract, the appeal of being invited to present a keynote at a conference can be flattering, far less an honour and a boost for one’s career. Therefore, while the idea that if it seems too good to be true, is a prudent one to hold; there is also a temptation to follow through.

The author replied to the request quizzing the reason for the invite out of the blue. The answer was less than convincing, and a swift email by the author saying “Don’t tell me… You are offering me a keynote with travel and accommodation… Lol!!” called their bluff and ended correspondence.

But digging a little deeper he found there was a webpage dedicated to taking payments to attend the conference. In the digital world, a fool can be easily and quickly separated from his or her money.

Of course, it may have been a real conference at a real venue, and they really wanted him to speak. But discerning this is not easy at first…

Some of the warning signs/What to look out for

  • The conference email invitation looks very convincing (if not don’t even read it!).
  • The venue is good location as Nobes (2017) highlighted, “the organizers are more interested in marketing the tourist destination rather than the academic value of the conference”.
  • The conference covers too many different aspects or topics, as if the advert is designed to catch the eye of many people as possible who are vaguely connected to the discipline.
  • Mentions on associated predatory journals and ‘important’ organisations in the discipline.
  • Email and bank accounts that don’t look professional/ official.
  • Little mention of attendance fees, but after acceptance emails demanding a high conference fee and other charges.
  • Conference organisers are not academics, or unknown names.
  • Conference does not peer-review submission/ not provide proper editorial control over presentations
  • Signs of copying of names of existing academic conferences or scientific organisation and even copying of their webpages
  • Even more advertising than normal at a scientific conference.

Furthermore, Andy Nobes (2017) offered some helpful advice on quality of the conference websites in the list below. Andy is based at AuthorAID, a global network providing support, mentoring, resources and training for researchers in developing countries.

Who is at risk of falling for predatory conferences?

Academics need to be aware of money-making conferences and meetings without a true commitment to science. But some academics might be more at risk than others. Young researchers, PhD students and fledgling academics, living from contract to contract may feel any conference attendance is a potential career boost. Thus, such an invitation might seem flattering and an opportunity to good to miss. A way to show that he or she is a capable and independent academic.

Final thoughts

Most academics go to conferences for a combination of presenting their work to get critical feedback, making new contacts, sharing ideas and to be inspired. With such broad combination of motivating factors, the exact purpose of conferences is difficult to ascertain because there is no a priori agreed role and value of conferences (Nicolson, 2017a). However, there is evidence that academic conferences function to facilitate commodity transactions, be that knowledge, tools, skills, reputations, or connections, which reflects the neoliberal ethos in the modern academy (Nicolson 2017b). The predatory conference can be viewed in this light, where academia is more and more focused on generating revenue. It is at best scurrilous, and worst, criminal, for organisations to make money using such a confidence trick.  Always check which conferences are organised and advertised by recognised scholarly organisations in your own discipline. If uncertain ask a more experienced academic, a senior colleague or mentor.

 

 

Donald J. Nicolson

(Health Services Researcher, NHS Fife, and Independent Scholar; twitter @_mopster )

Edwin R. van Teijlingen

(Centre Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)

 

References:

Moital, M. (2014) Ten Signs of a Bogus/Fake Conference.

Grove, J. (2017) Predatory conferences ‘now outnumber official scholarly events’  (26th Oct.)

Nicolson, D.J. (2017a) Do conference presentations impact beyond the conference venue? Journal of Research in Nursing. 22(5), pp.422-425.

Nicolson, D.J. (2017b) Academic Conferences as Neoliberal Commodities, Palgrave Macmillan

Nobes, A. (2017) What are ‘predatory’ conferences and how can I avoid them?

van Teijlingen, E. (2014) Beware of rogue journals.