Right from the start

In planning your project, you should think not only about what you intend to do, but also about possible ethical implications

If ethical considerations are built in from the start, there is a good chance that you will be able to carry out your work without causing problems for yourself or anyone else.

Planning is a very important aspect of any project, and you can find helpful sources of advice in the references section included in the ‘Right at the end’ resource.

The EPQ ethics guide produced by the Wellcome Trust sets out some questions you should ask yourself when planning your research. These questions form the basis of the ethical checklist discussed in ‘Good plan?’. To help you to address potential ethical issues, complete a copy of this checklist as part of your project plan and discuss it with your EPQ supervisor/mentor. The Wellcome Trust guide gives advice on how to think about these questions.

Heath and safety – your own and other people’s – is an aspect of working ethically, and if your project involves any laboratory, workshop or fieldwork, you will need to consider issues associated with using apparatus or working in a potentially hazardous environment. This includes completing risk assessments for all practical activities. Your school or college will have risk assessment forms that you should complete in consultation with your supervisor/mentor.

Keep your completed ethical checklist and health and safety risk assessment in a safe place and include them with your project report.

About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘Go Further: A practical guide to extended science projects’ in October 2016.

Statistics and maths, Careers, Psychology
Go Further: A practical guide to extended science projects
Education levels:
16–19, Independent research projects, Continuing professional development