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Faculty of Humanities

Procedures

Procedures for research application

Research applications should follow the following routes. The various actions which are expected en route are shown below:
 
ROUTE
ACTION
1. Researcher and study leader/-promoter
1.1 Draw up research proposal
1.2 Complete application for ethical clearance
2. Departmental research
committee
2.1 Approve research proposal
2.2 Application for ethical clearance signed by student/researcher, study leader/promoter, chair of departmental research committee
3. Head of Department
3.1 Approve all the above through signing the landscape form (“dwarsvorm”) and the application for ethical clearance
4. Departmental administration
4.1 Send all documentation - in duplicate - to Faculty Administration
5. Faculty Administration
5.1 Receive in duplicate the research proposal, application for ethical clearance and landscape form (“dwarsvorm”).
5.2 Send all documentation in 5.1 to Committee Adminsitrator
6. Committee Administrator 6.1Receive all documents in 5.1 from Faculty Administrator
6.2 Send all documents in 5.1 to two members of the Postgraduate Committee
7. Postgraduate Committee
7.1 Members report on full package of documentation at next Postgraduate  Committee meeting
8. Committee Administrator 8.1 Provided the application is approved, Committee Adminsitrator sends all documents in 6.1 to two members of the Research Ethics Committee
9. Research Ethics Committee
9.1 Members report on full package of documentation at next Respethics committee meeting
9.2 Provided the application is approved, ResEthics Chair signs the application for ethical clearance and landscape form ('dwarsvorm') -  for dispatching to Faculty Administration by the Committee Administrator 
9.3 Chair provides final feedback to student/ researcher via study leader/promoter
 
 
An appeal against decisions reached by ResEthics can be lodged with the Faculty’s Research Committee (Rescom). On their part, ResEthics will refer problems that cannot be resolved through negotiations with the parties involved, to the Rescom.

Procedures for funding applications

1. Steps 1-3 as above
4a ResEthics – should the funder require ethical clearance
4b Rescom – should no declaration be required

Suggestions for the completion of the application for ethical clearance

When planning research, ask yourself whether there is anything that, during the course of the research project, could prove to be detrimental to the human subject(s). Also ask yourself how serious or subtle in nature this detriment may be. Establish that any possible risks will be minimal or slight in nature, viewed within the context of the complete research project.
 
A further question that you must ask yourself is whether the benefits that you expect will accrue from the research are sufficiently meaningful in nature that any possible risks connected with the research and the effects on the human subjects and/or informants can be justified.
 
Whenever you make use of consent and indemnity forms by human subjects and/or informants, it is expected that you will thoroughly weigh up the following aspects:
1. The letter of informed consent is only valid if the human subject(s) and/or informant(s) who signs it is of sound mind and is informed as to the nature of the research project, the procedures in which he/she will participate and the possible consequences of such participation.
 
2. People with psychological disturbances, the physically sick and those in specific contexts - schools, church congregations, hospitals, old age homes, hostels, governmental institutions - require written consent from the appropriate custodians and/or authorities.
 
3. People who are recruited as human subjects and/or informants and who do not understand the communication language of the researcher must be instructed by an acceptable interpreter as to the nature of the research and the procedures involved before permission for participation can be obtained.
 
4. The participation of minor children necessitates the acquisition of written permission from a parent/lawful guardian or charge. Should the nature of the research require it, written permission must also be obtained from the school concerned.
 
The following aspect is also important when human subjects and/or informants are to be recruited: any decision to include in a research project human subjects and/or informants who stand in any relationship of dependency to the researcher must be taken with due prudence and responsibility. Should this be the case, a motivation must be included with your application showing how any possible contamination effects due to this dependent position will be reconciled.Finally, it is expected that the application for ethical clearance be fully completed.

Research Proposal

It should be borne in mind that the research proposal forms an integral part of the research. The evaluation by the Postgraduate Committee of the scientific basis of the proposed research is principally based on the contents of the proposal. It is therefore important that the nature and content of the proposal is of such a nature that it allows teh Committee the opportunity of formulating an objective evaluation of the intended research.