The committee was created to speed up the analysis and approval of research projects and contribute to disseminating the culture of responsibility and ethics
This Wednesday, May 5, Insper inaugurates its Research Ethics Committee (CEP/Insper), an interdisciplinary and independent collegiate body, of a consultative and deliberative nature, created to ensure that all research associated with Insper and involving human beings complies with the standards established by Insper’s Code of Ethics in Research.
With the mission to protect the rights, dignity and well-being of human beings who participate in research, CEP/Insper is responsible for, among its core roles, receiving and evaluating all research projects proposed by professors, students and researchers linked to Insper, within Insper’s areas of knowledge.
According to professor Irineu Gianesi, director of Academic Affairs, the Research Ethics Committee was already working on a provisional basis within Insper’s Superior Council, analyzing requests according to the demand of researchers, especially for research involving primary data and experiments with people. “With the increase in research in these categories, the opportunity arose to create a committee and specific processes, which will make the analysis and approval of research carried out by professors and research students much more agile. In addition, the process will help to disseminate the culture of responsibility and ethics in research activities.”
“The creation of CEP/Insper responds to the rapid and consistent growth in the volume of research carried out at our School”, confirms Professor Sergio Firpo, Research Director. “Insper’s research in Administration, Data Science, Law, Economics and Engineering in various situations involves primary or secondary data collected from information provided by individuals, families and firms. In many of these cases, compliance with specific protocols is required to ensure that the research being developed does not affect the research subjects. By creating the CEP, we guarantee that the research carried out at Insper meets certain KPIs and our standards. With this, we guarantee agility in the process and consolidate the legitimacy of our research results.”
For Professors Giuliana Isabella and Natália Pires de Vasconcelos, CEP/Insper leaders, research involving human beings in the social sciences can impact the lives of people who participate in the studies and cause damage to individuals and communities. “Therefore, CEP/Insper exists to help researchers reflect, anticipate and minimize these potential risks. Thus, the autonomy and privacy of the people who participate in the research and the equity in the distribution of benefits and social burdens brought by the studies are valued. Moreover, the path to becoming a reference research institution involves the need to ensure that all the scientific production at Insper meets national and international standards of research ethics”, emphasizes Professor Vasconcelos.
Laura Muller Machado, Professor and researcher at Insper, emphasizes that we live in a world that is increasingly marked – to a large extent due to electronic means of communication – by the abundance of individual information and the possibility of carrying out small and large experiments. This wealth of information certainly brings great opportunities for scientific advancement, but at the same time, it also poses greater risks to violations of privacy and other rights.
“In this context, every researcher, throughout their research, needs to exercise great caution and judgment so as not to violate ethical principles regarding privacy and other rights of the subjects involved in their studies and, in this way, avoid harmful effects on the well-being of these people. Every researcher certainly does this with great diligence. However, for the safety of everyone involved in each research, it is essential that the individual decisions of each researcher are duly and promptly scrutinized and supported by an independent ethics board. For these reasons, I consider the establishment of a Research Ethics Committee to be an indispensable and extremely important institutional advance for Insper”, Professor Machado points out.
Analysis before starting data collection
All research projects that refer to article 2 of the CEP/Insper bylaws must be analyzed by the Committee before the data collection process begins.
“This is necessary for us to respect, from the beginning of a survey, three principles: respect for people and their autonomy, beneficence and justice”, explains Giuliana. “We understand that researchers must recognize and respect these principles, in order to take care of the people involved, ensuring the privacy of information and the storage of this data in a safe and anonymous way, its correct beneficence, not creating, for example, false expectations for the individuals participating in the studies, and always seeking justice by not incurring, throughout the research process, disproportionate risks for everyone involved.”
At this first moment, CEP/Insper is receiving research projects from professors and PhD students. Soon, the Committee will also receive projects from students in the Postgraduate Lato Sensu and Undergraduate programs.
To learn more about the initiative, see the CEP/Insper page.