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Sensitive Research: Definition & Guidance

Researchers have a duty to consider carefully the risks and consequences associated with their research. Research that is classed as ‘sensitive’ carries with it particular risks that need to be managed, with particular consideration being given to the potential consequences of these risks. This includes risks and consequences for;

  • individual researchers;
  • research participants;
  • individuals, groups, communities connected either with the research participants or the research topic/focus;
  • the reputation of UCL and its researchers.

It is important therefore that, in order to minimise the impact/consequences for the individuals/groups concerned, researchers undertaking sensitive research consider beforehand what potential risks may arise from the research, to whom and how these risks could be removed, reduced or best managed.  

Guidance on managing research that is classed as 'sensitive' has now been published and is available on the Research Integrity website along with UCL's definition of 'sensitive research'.

Definition and guidance on sensitive research

Guidance on creating a Data Management Plan
UCL Research Integrity Annual Statement 2015-2016
EU-US Privacy Shield now in force
The Nagoya Protocol
Research Integrity Annual Statement
 Research Data Management Blog
A response to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics' report on The Culture of Scientific Research in the UK
Reproducing results of research
Risks relating to the misuse of research