Research practice overview

Research at the University of Leeds is conducted according to the principles of academic excellence, community, integrity, inclusiveness and professionalism. 

These principles encourage you to consider the wider consequences of your research, and engage with the practical, ethical and intellectual challenges inherent in high-quality research.  

The University is a supporter of the UUK Concordat to Support Research Integrity This means we all have a commitment to:  

  • uphold the highest standards of rigor and integrity in all aspects of research  
  • ensure that research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards  
  • support a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice and support for the development of researchers  
  • use transparent, robust and fair processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct should they arise  
  • work together to strengthen the integrity of research  

Research Ethics and Research Integrity  

As you conduct your research, you are likely to need to directly engage with real-world issues, materials and participants. A key tool by which this engagement is managed and supported is research ethics awareness and training.  

The purpose of ethics review is not to discourage controversial or high-risk research, but to provide constructive feedback on your project. Taking an ethical approach to your research should not be a barrier to your project.  It will help you to show that you recognise any potential risks involved and are aware of any necessary preparation and management that you are responsible for.   

In all disciplines, the ethical aspects of your research should be discussed with your supervisor as part of your research design and management process. It is your responsibility to obtain ethics review approval before starting your research, should it be required.  

To help support you in considering the ethics around your research project and complete the ethics review process, please enrol on the dedicated online training in research integrity and research ethics. You can find out more information about these tutorials on the Research practice training and tests page of the For Students website.

Ethical issues in research  

Some key ethical issues in research include:  

  • balancing potential risks and benefits to the participants (humans, animals or the environment) and the researcher(s)  
  • dealing with sensitive topics, information or materials  
  • looking after personal data   
  • vulnerable participants  
  • avoiding coercion and being mindful of power imbalances  
  • conflicts of interest  
  • Infringement of privacy- anonymity and confidentiality 

For more information please read the Ethics review process page of the For Students website