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Finding a research ethics/integrity advisor

You might find it helpful to locate professional advice from those who have worked in this field for many years and are capable of assisting in projects from design to dissemination. Some pro bono advice might be available, but for anything more than just a simple question, advisors would expect a fee for services. Most advisors can work ‘remotely’ but face-to-face meetings may also be required from time to time. Advisors can have different roles in different jurisdictions, varying from advice on researcher conduct, to advice on how research misconduct processes work. You need to be clear what sort of advisor you need and you need to assess their competence on the basis of their career history, references and recommendations.



Roles and Functions of Ethics Advisors/Ethics Advisory Boards in EC-funded Projects

While this document is targeted at EC-funded projects specifically, the advice contained can be useful applied whatever the funding source.


UK Social Research Association

Ethics Consultancy Forum

This service is free to SRA members. It is an informal, confidential forum to support researchers and help them think about difficult ethics issues by bringing a range of views to bear. The participants, who give their time voluntarily, have had considerable combined experience of social research across different sectors:

UK Research Integrity Office

UKRIO is an advisory body. It is not a regulatory organisation and has no formal legal powers. UKRIO helps to direct researchers, organisations and the public to regulatory bodies when issues fall within their jurisdiction. UKRIO’s advice and guidance emphasise the good practice that runs across all research disciplines and all regulatory remits. They aim to complement the work of regulatory bodies for research and support the work of Government and research funders:

Professional services

Dr Helen Busby
Independent research ethics advisor/Consultant to WHO

Dr Helen Busby is an independent research ethics advisor. After studying medical anthropology and sociology at the Universities of Brunel and Nottingham (UK), she continued as a postdoc at Nottingham. Having a particular interest in health, she has some 20 years’ experience of research, including as Principal Investigator on projects about blood donation, stem cell banking, and frameworks of altruism. Now focussed on research ethics, she currently spends half her time working as a Consultant for the World Health Organization global health ethics unit and undertakes advisory work for European research funders and agencies and for universities. Helen is proficient in French language, passionate about internationalism in research, and committed to making research ethics meaningful for researchers and organisations.

Axel Carlberg

Axel Carlberg is an independent ethics consultant with more than 20 years of experience in the field. During this period he has worked regularly as an ethics expert for the European Commission doing evaluations, ethics assessments, follow-ups and checks of EC-financed research projects. He has also worked as an ethics advisor and mentor for several research consortia in the fields of security and biomedicine. In addition Axel works as an organisational consultant facilitating complex team and organisational processes in both the private and public sector. [Axel works in English and Swedish.]

Robert Dingwall FAcSS Consulting Sociologist

Professor Robert Dingwall is a consulting sociologist. After studying at the Universities of Cambridge and Aberdeen, he worked at the Universities of Oxford, Nottingham and Nottingham Trent. He has wide international experience in the interdisciplinary study of law, medicine, science and technology. This includes a long-standing interest in the ethical aspects of social research, and scientific and clinical practice, including the PRO-RES project. He has been an ethical adviser for major national and international research funders, the UK Government and private industry. He is a Fellow, and former Council member, of the Academy of Social Sciences and an Honorary Member of the Faculty of Public Health

Dr Ron Iphofen FAcSS

Ron Iphofen is internationally recognised for his expertise on research ethics, scientific integrity and helping maintain professional standards in research. He is an adviser to the European Commission (EC) and the European Research Council (ERC) on both the seventh framework programme (FP7) and Horizon 2020. His consultancy work has covered a range of other research agencies (in government and independent) across Europe. His background discipline is in the social sciences and the sociology of health and medicine. He now devotes his time to writing in research ethics, editing collections and advising research projects and agencies on good research practice. He is currently leading the PRO-RES project and advising several other European Commission-funded projects.

Dr Helen Kara FAcSS
Independent Research Consultant

Helen Kara has been an independent research consultant for 20 years. She specialises in research methods and ethics and is in demand worldwide to speak and teach on these topics. Helen is the author of several articles and books on research methods and ethics such as Research Ethics in the Real World: Euro-Western and Indigenous Perspectives (Policy Press). She is currently working on the PRO-RES project and her next book.

John Oates HonFBPsS, FRSA, FAcSS, Professor, Open University.

Member of British Psychological Society Ethics Committee and Research Ethics Reference Group, lead for BPS Code of Human Research Ethics, Media Ethics Advisory Group and BPS guidelines Psychology in Media Productions. Established Open University Research Ethics Committee (REC), chairing it for seven years. Was Council Trustee of the Association for Research Ethics. Lead for a revised edition of the Framework of Policies and Procedures for University RECs with UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) and ARMA. With colleagues from the Academy of Social Sciences co-organised a symposia and conferences series with UK learned societies towards universal ethics principles now adopted by the Academy. Member of the Economic and Social Research Council ethics advisory group for the Framework for Research Ethics launched in 2016. Advisor to the UKRIO, ethics reviewer for the European Research Council. Collaborator in H2020 PRO-RES project.

Sarah Wolfensohn is a veterinary surgeon who graduated from Cambridge and worked in general practice for several years, also taking on the role of named veterinary surgeon for various small pharmaceutical and biotech companies. She was Head of the Veterinary Services Department at the University of Oxford for 20 years and then set up a consultancy providing advice on animal health and welfare to clients from the pharmaceutical industry, academia, animal welfare organisations, zoo and wildlife organisations and funding agencies and governments; both in the UK and overseas. She has wide experience in the ethical review of projects relating to many aspects of animal use. She is an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Laboratory Animal Science, holds the Diploma from the European College of Animal Welfare and Behaviour Medicine (Welfare Science, Ethics and Law) and is a Fellow of the Society of Biology. She was awarded an OBE for services to animal welfare in 2012. She is currently Professor of Animal Welfare at the University of Surrey School of Veterinary Medicine.

Anne Demoisy, founder of RHIZOME 

RHIZOME is a Brussels based consultancy SME active since 2006 with a solid track record in European research cooperation. Our aim is to integrate Ethics and Technology in order to create efficient tools and methodologies respecting privacy and the ethics principles agreed by the European Union Research Framework (Horizon2020 and Horizon Europe). Anne Demoisy, founder of RHIZOME s.a., has a background in philosophy of sciences, computer sciences and Artificial Intelligence (AI).  She worked in the private sector supporting large IT departments before focusing on the ethics management of research projects as consultant for the European Commission DG Research and European Research Council (ERC). She supports projects/flagship programs during the implementation of their ethics requirements and relies on a vast network of experienced experts in order to deliver on due time.

RHIZOME’s expertise covers:

1) Security related issues such as Data Protection, Artificial Intelligence, Social Media Data Mining, Informed Consent procedures, involvement of vulnerable people, Dual Use, Risk of Stigmatization and conduct of field-tests with participants in EU and Non-EU countries.
2) Health related projects dealing with e-registries, Machine Learning, Clinical Trials, Informed Consent and 3Rs.
3) Green Energy projects dealing with Machine Learning, AI, COPERNICUS data, geolocalisation data, environmental risk and running of Show Cases.

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS):

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services (AHRECS) is a leading provider of institutional consultancy services relating to: best practice institutional human research ethics and research integrity arrangements; the design and conduct of training for human research ethics committee members, support staff and research ethics advisors; the provision of high quality advisory and evaluative services; and the conduct of independent reviews of institutional research ethics and research integrity frameworks. Prof. Mark Israel, Prof. Colin Thomson and Dr Gary Allen are all senior consultants at AHRECS.

Enago offers author services for the global research community. Since 2005 they have worked with researchers in more than 125 countries. Enago is a preferred partner for leading publishers, societies, as well as universities worldwide. They have offices in Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Istanbul, and New York. Enago operates globally with regional teams supporting researchers locally. Fees are charged for services and most of the advisors offer information on research ethics for authors.