ORID holds Ethics Sensitization Worksop for Faculty of College of Education

The Office of Research, Innovation, and Development (ORID) has organized a sensitization workshop for faculty of the College of Education on Wednesday, 28th September 2022. The workshop was held at the SCDE Smart Classroom.


The workshop which was the first of its kind for the College of Education was facilitated by the coordinating office of the Human and Animal Research Ethics Services (HARES) of ORID in collaboration with the Members of the Ethics Committee for Humanities (ECH). The theme for the workshop was “Enhancing Ethical Research Conduct in the College of Education”


The objective was to sensitize faculty of the College on ethical issues or dilemmas that confront research conducted in their setting and the expectations of the Ethics Committee. Present at the workshop were the Dean of the School of Continuing and Distance Education (SCDE), Prof Olivia A. T. F. Kwapong and faculty of the College of Education. The facilitators were Ms. Helena Baidoo, the HARES team leader, Prof. Mate-Kole and Prof. Esther Sakyi Dawson.

Prof. Kwapong in her welcome address intimated that the workshop was timely and useful since over the years the College has not been much acknowledged in the area of research. She thanked ORID for the initiative. She expressed her appreciation to the participants present and hoped that it will set the stage for further action for ethical research conducted within the College.

The Dean of SCDE and some faculty members at the workshop

Ms. Helena Baidoo, team leader of HARES and organizer of the workshop gave a general overview of the role of the University of Ghana Ethics Committee, what ethical clearance means, the importance of ethical clearance, what the Committee constitutes and the process that applications go through before they are finally approved. Ms. Baidoo emphasized that ORID in its capacity as a research office of the University is poised to expedite the ethical clearance processes. On the importance of ethical clearance, she cited the world-acclaimed Belmont Report. She explained that the Belmont Report's principle of respect for persons incorporates at least two ethical convictions: first, that individuals should be treated as autonomous agents, and second, persons with diminished autonomy are entitled to protection.


Prof. Mate-Kole, Chairman of ECH also spoke about the protocol review process and the requirements. He explained the importance of ethical clearance. Prof. Mate-Kole made participants appreciate the importance of Ethical Clearance as a major step toward the publication of research findings. He clarified that obtaining ethical clearance is part of a broader process that is required for research thus one cannot publish in any journal without an ethical clearance number since journal houses ask for it before publication. He took participants through the ethical review processes and highlighted some challenges the Committees face in their reviews. Notable among them were inappropriate or poorly developed methods; poor understanding of study; or subject matter or scope of work; poor academic writing skills; falsification non-conformance to Committees’ guidelines, the use of jargon, and plagiarism. He exhibited the ethical clearance form, what should go into it, and the mistakes committed. He indicated feedback is received within five weeks should one submit a proposal to the Committee.


Prof. Esther Sakyi-Dawson who was the final resource person to speak provided insights into the process of obtaining informed consent during research. She stated that “consent is not an inclusion criterion and must not be obtained through undue influence, coercion, or at the vulnerability of respondents”.  Members were taken through the consent form and some proposals which had been sent to the Committee for review and comments. Further, she took members through the various elements of the consent process including the language used, identifying risks and discomforts, benefits, confidentiality, and privacy. She concluded her presentation by reiterating the importance of assuring research participants that a change of mind would not result in any penalties, deprivation of privileges, or rights.


At the end of the presentation, resource persons thanked participants for their time. They explained that their role is not only to give ethical clearance but to review the proposals first.

Faculty members who participated in the workshop

Participants expressed their satisfaction and appealed for more of such workshops to be organized in the future to keep them abreast with ethical and trending issues related to research.  The information exchanged at the workshop provided participants with a plethora of professional knowledge about the Ethics Review Committees' activities and expectations. It is envisaged that ORID would take the necessary steps to help establish an ethics committee for the College of Education to help facilitate ethical research as required.