Reflecting on ethical processes and dilemmas in doctoral research

Quickfall, A. (2022) Reflecting on ethical processes and dilemmas in doctoral research. Education Sciences, 12 (751). ISSN 2227-7102

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This paper discusses ethical dilemmas from an early-career researcher perspective, drawing up-on doctoral research experiences—my own. The doctoral study involved life-history interviews with five primary-school-teacher mothers. During the study, ethical dilemmas arose that were not considered by me or in the official university ethical processes. This left me feeling vulnera-ble in the data-collection period and overwhelmed with concerns for the well-being of partici-pants and for myself as researcher. This paper draws on my journal entries and reflections; de-tailed reflections of the pre-, during and post-fieldwork stages were collected (totalling over 600 entries). The paper utilizes critical incidents analysis to explore two ethical dilemmas from the data collection phase. Findings include personal reflections on experiences of university pro-cesses and the mismatch between the metaphor of ethics as a ‘hurdle’ on a smooth track to com-pletion, and the real-life incidents and dilemmas that followed ethical approval. Recommenda-tions are made for a consideration of doctoral ethical dilemma support and the limitations of formal ethics processes in UK universities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 MDPI. This is an author-produced version of a paper accepted for publication in Education Sciences. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Divisions: School of Teacher Development
Depositing User: Aimee Quickfall
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2022 09:05
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2023 16:15

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