Research and the COVID-19 pandemic

Guidance on virtual research methods and conducting research during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guidance on virtual research methods

If you have changed your research project to involve virtual data collection methods as a result of the pandemic, please see the University guidance note on changing research methods in response to COVID-19 for advice on the ethical considerations that may arise.

Resources on conducting research during the pandemic

For information from funders and regulators regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on research, please see the Research Support Office COVID-19 webpage.

Questions to consider in light of the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Are the government safety regulations relating to COVID-19 abided by in the study design
  • Are there protocols in place to monitor and adapt to a change in the public health guidelines
  • Is the face to face data collection covered by a health and safety risk assessment
  • Are all local organisations involved in the study happy for the research to go ahead
  • Do the research data collection activities place unreasonable extra demands on other organisations involved in the study
  • Does the consent process take into account the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (risks adequately explained; guidance on accessing health care is offered; no undue inducement etc.)
  • Is there an explanation of support relating to mental health issues arising from the pandemic
  • Will the management of data be affected by any pandemic related restrictions
  • Will participation in the study compromise participant’s healthcare needs during the pandemic
  • Will the study impact upon local healthcare facilities and resources
  • What measures are in place for participant to report any concerns;What mechanisms are in place to ensure that all research partners and participants are receiving accurate, up-to-date information about COVID-19 relevant to their project and country
  • Have we taken into account individuals or groups with particular characteristics who risk being affected disproportionately by any changes made to research during this period
  • Is the research project extractive in nature
  • Are the risks of transmission minimised or proportionate to the value or benefits of the research to the participants
  • Do the benefits of face to face research data collection activities outweigh the risks?

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