What is Research Governance?
Research Governance can be defined as the broad range of regulations, principles and standards of good practice that exist to ensure the highest standards of quality research. This covers scientific quality, ethical standards and all aspects of research management. The RGF covers the following topics:
- Ethics - the dignity, rights, safety & wellbeing of participants must be the primary consideration in any research study.
- Science - it must be ensured that only high quality, valid research is conducted as determined by independent scientific review of research proposals.
- Health & Safety - patient and researcher safety is paramount particularly where potentially dangerous equipment, substances or organisms are used.
- Information - the public must be allowed access to information on research being conducted and the findings from research.
- Finance - financial probity, adequate insurance cover for research, arrangements for intellectual property and contractual arrangements are important considerations.
- Quality Research Culture - promotion of excellence in research in the UK is essential.
To whom does it apply?
The key principles of research governance apply to all research and all subject areas; although for research involving human participants or access to NHS resources there are additional more stringent requirements. Research governance applies to those who:
- undertake research;
- participate in research;
- host research within their organisation;
- fund research proposals or infrastructure;
- manage research.
Why is Research Governance needed?
There is a need to have in place clear rules for good quality research, in which the well being of research participants is central. Research Governance improves the quality of research and safeguards researchers and research participants by:
- enhancing ethical awareness and scientific quality
- monitoring practice and performance
- promoting good research practice
- preventing poor performance and misconduct