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Durham University

Research and Innovation Services

Participant Charter

Durham is a world leading research institution. In this context it recognises that fair, equitable and respectful treatment of research participants is not only essential to guaranteeing the quality of its research but also its ability to undertake research effectively in the long-term. The principles outlined below represent the minimum standard for anyone undertaking research in its name, be they staff, students or subcontractors.

Participant rights

  1. You are free to express your opinions and views, and your individual contribution will be valued.

  2. Your individual needs will be recognised and fairly addressed.

  3. You will be treated with dignity and respect. You should expect the research project to be conducted in accordance with the University’s commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

  4. Your safety and wellbeing are of paramount importance, and the research team will take care to ensure that these are protected. You will be informed of any potential risks involved in taking part in the research.

  5. Your personal data will be kept secure and confidential to the research team, and will not be shared without your consent. You will be informed about how your data may be used and under what conditions (if any) it may be shared.

  6. Your participation is voluntary and you will be free to withdraw without negative consequence at any point.

  7. You will be informed about the aims and purpose of the research, the funder (where applicable) and the research team involved.

Participant responsibilities

  1. You should show respect for others involved in the research including fellow participants and staff. This includes respecting the rights outlined above.

  2. You should enter into and engage with the research project honestly and in good faith.

  3. You should raise any concerns as to the conduct of the research, safety of participants or other significant issues with the project team or other appropriate University officer.

If the research team fails in its obligations to you the University will investigate. If appropriate then it may sanction the responsible members. In the same way, if you breach your responsibilities as a participant the University will investigate and may apply sanctions, which may include asking you to step aside from the research.