Research ethics

TSRF has developed and collated resources relating to third sector research ethics.

TSRF resources on research ethics

  • Front cover of TSRF guide to applying ethical research principles

    TSRF Guide to applying ethical research principles

    This guide meets a need identified by Scotland’s Third Sector Research Forum (TSRF) for a resource to support research active third sector organisations to navigate ethical considerations.

  • Good practice in sharing research data

    This brief 3-page guide is for people who undertake and commission research in the third sector – and are interested in sharing your own or other people’s research data.  This guide might also be of interest to academics.

  • Inclusive Growth

    ‘Inclusive Growth’ is increasingly being used by government but what does the term mean, and how does it relate to the third sector? These questions are answered in this briefing

  • Research interview participant information

    This is an example of a research interview participant information sheet that has been written by Noreen Grant when she was undertaking her PhD at the University of Highlands and

  • Research interviewee consent form

    This is an example of consent form to obtain consent to participate in a research interview. This was written by Noreen Grant when she was undertaking her PhD at the

TSRF blogs on research ethics

Front cover of TSRF guide to applying ethical research principles


What do we mean by ‘ethical research principles’? What does that mean in practice?

We all want to ‘do’ research well and ensure that as we find out the answer to our questions we don’t upset or harm those that we work with, those we interview and involve in the research or ourselves. It all sounds easy but when it comes to practice sometimes its easy to fall foul of best practice without really realising. Read this blog about TSRF new guide to applying ethical research principles.


Some People Struggle: Now more than ever

In this blog, Prof. Karen McArdle (University of Aberdeen), member of Scotland’s Third Sector Research Forum, shows the need to look at ethics at every stage of a research project.


Corra and the Storyteller’s Quest

This blog gives an overview of the workshop that Corra Foundation will present in the Third Sector Research Forum Conference on 17 February 2021.

Developing a “fit for purpose” research ethics processes within a large third sector organisation – Samaritans UK

A recent project conducted within Samaritans UK provides some potential pointers and, indeed, suggests that some of the challenges and possibilities of research ethics in the third sector may have wider relevance. View here.

YouthLink Scotland’s Research Ethics Policy.

A example of a policy to ensure YouthLink Scotland conduct research and evaluation ethically and responsibly. View here.

Videos on Research Ethics

The DRILL Ethics Committee – Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning

The DRILL model of ethical approval.

Learning from implementing an institutional ethics review process – Public Health Scotland.

Theory vs Practice in Research Ethics within the Third Sector: some experiences and challenges in the field – National Children’s Bureau.

Presentations developed by the TSRF Steering Group

Data Sharing in the Third Sector – Volunteer Scotland

Presentation on data sharing agreements and good practice. View here.

Developing a Research Ethics Policy – YouthLink Scotland

A walk-through of the TSRF Research Ethics Guide. View here.

Equal Opportunities Monitoring: Challenges and Learning – Children in Scotland

Developing a new approach to Equal Opportunities Monitoring. View here.

Ethical Dilemmas in Practice – Professor Karen McArdle

A discussion on ensuring research practices are ethical. View here.

Ethical Research Dilemmas in Practice: negotiating consent – Dr Jane Cullingworth

A discussion on procedural ethics. View here.

Ethics and Lived Experience Research – The ALLIANCE

My Support My Choice: People’s experiences of self-directed support in Scotland. View here.

Ethics and Safety in Peer-led Research – The Poverty Alliance

A discussion on key questions for researchers around ethics and safety. View here.

Reflexive Researchers – The Poverty Alliance

A discussion on researcher’s contribution to the construction of meanings throughout the research process. View here.

Research ethics at Samaritans: Towards a whole organisation approach – Samaritans

Developing a new approach to research ethics. View here.