Research Division

Ethics in Research: Things you need to know!


A session on ethics in research hosted by the University Department of Rural Health.

Start Date

16th Oct 2012 12:00pm

End Date

16th Oct 2012 2:00pm


Room J036, Newnham Campus, Launceston

RSVP / Contact Information or 03)6324 4051 by 5pm, 14th October for catering purposes

Ethics is an essential part of conducting research, particularly in research dealing with human beings.
The research ethics discourse has become more complex due to growing challenges of our rapidly changing world. Research ethics is one of the first issues to be considered before a research project is conducted.

The University Department of Rural Health will be running a research ethics workshop conducted by Professor Paula Swatman, Chair of the Social Science Human Research Ethics Committee and Dr Kathryn Ogden and Damhnat McCann, members of the Tas Scientific Advisory Committee and Nicola Hodgman, Manager of the Research Ethics Unit.

The topics include:

  • Ethics issues involving vulnerable groups (e.g., young children, people with chronic diseases, people with CALD background, people who identify themselves as ATSI etc..) such as participant recruitment, their participation etc.
  • The ethics approval process, e.g., submission, feedback, and correction.
  • Common mistakes and shortcomings of the application.
  • Major codes of conduct, guidelines on the NHMRC statements that we should pay careful attention when preparing an application.

Professor Paula Swatman has been an Information Systems academic since 1988 and she has worked in ICT and, in particular, e-Business for 25 years, holding Chairs in both Australia and Germany.
Paula's speciality is eBusiness and eCommerce and she has led research groups at several universities and published over 200 refereed articles in these areas. Her other focus of academic interest is social science research methods- both as a specialist lecturer and as a research student supervisor- and she has also been an HREC member at four Australian universities.
After retiring from full-time academic life at the end of 2009, Paula and her husband moved to the Huon Valley where they run a small beef cattle stud. Paula has an Adjunct Chair in the School of Computing & Information Systems, where she supervises a few PhD students; and she also lectures in research methods into the Graduate Certificate in Research. She has been the Chair of the Social Science Human Research Ethics Committee since the start of 2012 and has a particular interest in the ethical issues associated with online research.

Nicola Hodgman has worked in research management at UTas for 10 years. Since 2010, Nicola has managed the 3 UTAS Ethics Committees (Health & Medical Human Research Ethics Committee, Social Sciences HREC & Animal Ethics Committee) The Ethics Committees review all human research conducted within Tasmania, including research undertaken through State & Federal agencies such as the Department of Education and the DHHS. The committees have approximately 60 members from across the state. Each committee meets monthly to review all new applications, amendments, progress reports and final reports. The Ethics Unit is supported by an Executive Officer for each committee and a general administrative officer. The Unit also includes the Research Integrity Coordinator, who is tasked with developing procedures to support compliance with the Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and an Animal Welfare Officer.

Dr Kathryn Ogden supervises undergraduate and post-graduate research at the Launceston Clinical School. She is a clinically active general practitioner whose interest in research saw her complete a Master of Public Health at Monash University and undertake work with the National Stroke Foundation and the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash Uni. More recently her research interests have been in health education, healthy delivery, and primary care. In addition she has involvement in a wide variety of clinical research projects as supervisor to students.

Damhnat McCann coordinates and teaches research subjects at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her clinical background is paediatrics with an interest in infectious diseases. Damhnat has worked as a Nurse Researcher in the clinical setting and has experience mentoring nurses who are undertaking research in their practice area. She has a Master of Public Health from the University of Queensland and a Graduate Diploma in Nursing (Paediatrics). Damhnat has utilised both quantitative and mixed methodologies to conduct research in family centred care, nursing medication errors, and incorporating evidence into clinical practice. She also has an interest in health services research.