Writing for Ethical Research: Novice Researchers, Writing,and the Experience of Experiential Narrative

  • Boyd W
  • Parry S
  • Burger N
  • et al.
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The objective of this paper is to better understand how to bring the experience of applying for research ethics approval closer to the practice of research planning. The hypothesis is that, while experienced scholars understand the ethics writing process, early career scholars find that understanding is harder. We adopt experiential narrative methodology to explore individual understandings of the ethics writing process as case studies providing insight into relationships between academic and institutional process. We adopt this approach since experiential narrative allows academics to explore social processes while providing professional development. Building narratives of the experience of applying for research ethics approval, we present six personal accounts from the perspectives of the research ethics committee chair, a senior supervising academic, two early career academics and two doctoral candidates. The paper describes our experience through individual and collective experiential narratives, engaging the narratives of scholarship, intellectual context, participant and power relationships, and professional growth. Extending a previous argument that deeper engagement with ethical curricula will transform students, we demonstrate the effect of deeper engagement upon early career scholars, and demonstrate that the bureaucratic writing embedded in the research ethics proposal can be harnessed to mentor both early and later career writing and scholarly development.




Boyd, W. E., Parry, S., Burger, N., Kelly, J., Boyd, W., & Smith, J. (2013). Writing for Ethical Research: Novice Researchers, Writing,and the Experience of Experiential Narrative. Creative Education, 04(12), 30–39. https://doi.org/10.4236/ce.2013.412a1005

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