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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J000019/1
Title: Framework for Responsible Research and Innovation in ICT
Principal Investigator: Jirotka, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Stahl, Professor BC
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Association for Computing Machinery BT HORIZON Digital Economy Research
Inst for the Management of Info Systems Newcastle University University of Aberdeen
Department: Oxford e-Research Centre
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 September 2011 Ends: 29 August 2014 Value (£): 397,173
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
eScience Human-Computer Interactions
Science & Technology Studies
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
15 Mar 2011 EPSRC ICT Responsive Mode - Mar 2011 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Framework for Ethics in ICT project is the first attempt to take a holistic view of the ethical challenges posed by contemporary ICT research. The project has been constructed to engage researchers right across the spectrum of ICT research and to reach out to those other research disciplines and communities which use ICT. The motivating ethos of the project is one of engagement and community self-development. That is, the project seeks to facilitate the development of a common approach to the definition and resolution of ethical issues by the research community itself.

To achieve this objective, the project will undertake a number of lines of activity.

1. An Ethics Observatory will be created to hold the information gathered within the project and to disseminate best practice, promote recommendations and engage external communities. Central in the resources held by the Observatory will be curriculum development materials, a New Research Support Pack together with tailorable resources for use in undertaking ethical assessments.

2. The project will undertake a comprehensive baseline study of current issues, challenges and responses to them as perceived by ICT researchers. This baseline study will provide a description of the landscape of ICT from an ethical point of view and hence will identify the key issues, barriers and enablers.

3. The project will undertake a number of detailed case studies. These cases will be taken from across the ICT spectrum and will be chosen to reflect a range of issues and contexts. The findings from these case studies will be included within the repository and publicised by the Ethics Observatory.

4. A series of workshops will be held which will serve to introduce the community to the ethical challenges posed by ICT and some possible responses to them. The workshops will also enable the research community to review the progress of the project and final reports of the landscape study and the case studies.

To be fully effective, the framework which is developed will have to align to practices which take place further along the technology and product development chain. The project will engage with the professional bodies and key ICT lead companies to begin this process. It is also recognised that the changes sought by the project will need to be complemented by appropriate legislation and policy. The project will work through the Research Councils and the relevant professional bodies to engage relevant actors and stakeholders. On completion, the project will have:

a) created a vibrant network of researchers who share a common understanding of the complexities underlying ethical questions in ICT research;

b) provided a rich resource base for the community to access and use;

c) created an Ethics Observatory which is sustainable from a financial and research perspective; d) reached out to disciplines and communities who use and depend on ICT. It will have held the community set expectations for ethically responsible activities and helped frame appropriate legislation and policies.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.ox.ac.uk