To be honest I feel a little deflated after going through the UREC committee meeting today. Not only was I made to feel rather small due to the set up but I thought through what I should have said about 2 hours after the meeting had already taken place.
Being summoned to a formal meeting room in an original building of the university (think 1812), with vaulted ceilings and stained glass to sit in front of a committee of 9 professors who don’t bother with introductions or names does remind you who’s in charge.
Then, they get straight to the point. Which leaves little room to take in the situation. I felt a little defensive on the start and I think my nervousness may have shown given my waffling with my answers.
Still, as soon as it started it finished. Short, definitely not sweet. But over.
Is it actually about ethics? Dunno. But definitely more about risk assessment a.k.a. is there anything in this study that can get the university sued? I understand the necessity to be transparent about the research process – the nitty-gritty details of how the researcher gains access to participants, the reasons behind it and the rationale for choose who can/can’t take part. I also understand that it is essential to protect vulnerable participants from being exploited.
Is it really that necessary to be hauled in front of a committee of professors (who were not from my faculty/school) to be told the shortcomings of my form instead of contacting me/my supervisors directly. Especially when what was raised is with regards to risk to the university rather than ethical concerns about the study.