The guidance below has not been developed directly by UKRI, but may be a useful resource. Where this advice conflicts with UKRI-produced policies and guidance, UKRI policies and guidance should be followed.
Equitable partnerships are fundamental to conducting research internationally in a responsible manner and researchers should take steps to ensure that research partnerships are undertaken in a way that is mutually beneficial to all partners and recognises and mitigates against power imbalances.
Global code of conduct for research in resource-poor settings (PDF, 2MB)
This code establishes key principles to ensure fairness, respect, care and honesty in global research partnerships.
UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR)
A group of government departments and research funders who work together to promote collaboration and joint action in global development research. Their website provides useful guidance and tools for global research, with resources including:
Rethinking Research Collaborative: promoting fair and equitable research partnerships to global challenges
The Rethinking Research Collaborative has identified eight principles for working towards fair and equitable research partnerships and provides modules with ideas to translate the principles into practice.
The Nagoya Protocol provides a framework for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. Although a party to the Nagoya Protocol, the UK does not follow all of the stipulations.
Guidance and documents to support due diligence in international research partnerships, including:
- Due diligence guidance for UK research organisations
- Due diligence questionnaire (simplified)
- Due diligence questionnaire (standard)
- Due diligence questionnaire (enhanced)
Guidance on establishing agreements between research partners in the UK and internationally, including:
Nuffield Council on Bioethics: the ethics of research related to healthcare in developing countries
Key ethical issues to consider when undertaking health research in resource-poor settings.
Research in global health emergencies – The Nuffield Council on Bioethics (2020)
Key ethical issues relating to undertaking research in global health emergencies.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) ethical guidance for research, evaluation and monitoring activities
Principles for ethical practice in research and evaluation developed by the Department for International Development for their grant holders.
Ethical research in fragile and conflict-affected contexts
The following recommendations were produced as a result of UKRI funding, in partnership with UNICEF.
Funders paper (PDF, 160KB)
The paper captures the key lessons for funders and commissioners of ethical research in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.
Guidance for applicants (PDF, 335KB)
These applicant guidelines provide a unique tool for applicants to assure themselves that their research projects will give systematic and on-going consideration to the ethics of research in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.
Guidance for reviewers (PDF, 316KB)
These reviewer guidelines provide seven criteria for consideration and a checklist for reviewers to use systematically to support their review process.