Universiteit Leiden

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Practicing informed consent; dilemmas and experiences in social science research

Tuesday 7 June 2022
Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
S.B11 (plenary session)

Conversations about informed consent

How do we, as researchers, establish if we have informed consent from our research participants and respondents? The answer is often not so straightforward. Research ethics, of which informed consent is an important part, requires researchers to consider the specific social and political contexts in which they carry out research. It requires that researchers reflect on the relationships that researchers are part of and within which data is collected or produced. Decisions regarding informed reflect a wide range of epistemologies, research methods, and ways of recording and note taking.

Over the past years, there have been important legal changes and new informed consent protocols. This development highlights that ethics is a shared responsibility of researchers and their institutions. At the same time, protocols do not always fit the diversity in research circumstances or risk reducing informed consent to a bureaucratic exercise, indivertibly undermining research ethics. What are these dillemas and experiences when working with informed consent in our research? What are the complexities of informed consent when preparing and carrying out research? The aim of this event is to stimulate a conversation about these ethical and practical dillemmas.


The programme starts with plenary presentations where experienced researchers talk about some of the dilemmas that they encountered when doing research. What were the informed consent issues that they encountered? This part of the day is open to all interested. Especially social science researchers from the FSW are encouraged to attend.

After a short break, there will be small breakout groups for PhD and Postdoc researchers and a limited number of (Research) MA students. The breakout groups continue to go deeper into the themes that were addressed in the plenary presentations. Researchers are also encouraged to reflect on informed consent in their own research project. What dillemas and questions are you confronted with when preparing or doing research?

Afterwards, there will be drinks for all interested in this event, giving us an opportunity to continue the conversation, talk with the presenters, as well as with members of the Ethics Review Committee Social Sciences.

14:00 Opening by Paul Wouters

Maghiel van Crevel: If You Have Hyper-Access, Who Needs Informed Consent?

14:30 Tom Louwerse: Ethics Audits in Cross-National Research: Experiences from Correspondence Study Field Experiments with National Politicians in Four European Democracies.
14:45 Cristina GrasseniUsing informed consent with visual media.
15:00 Q&A and conversation with the audience. Moderated by Erik Bähre
15:30 Break

Breakout groups for PhD candidates, Postdocs and limited number of (Research) MA students 


Drinks in the Central Hall


16:45-18:00 Drinks


Registration is closed!


Practicing Informed Consent is organised by the FSW Ethics Review Committee Social Sciences in order to stimulate our conversations about research ethics. It aims to stimulate conversations among colleagues about ethics in everyday research practices; learn from each other’s experiences; reflect on how experiences are related to different disciplinary, epistemological and methodological approaches.

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