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BERA Opportunity

Join the working group recommending revisions to BERA’s Ethical Guidelines

BERA are inviting applications from across the educational research community to join a working group that will review and make recommendations for the revision of BERA’s Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research (fourth edition). This review is to ensure that the forthcoming fifth edition of this valuable resource is fully up to date and comprehensive, and continues to provide valuable guidance on all aspects of research ethics in contemporary educational research, primarily but not only in UK contexts.

BERA will appoint up to six members to this working group, in addition to its chair, Dr Alison Fox (The Open University). Our priority is to ensure that the working group comprises the following experience, expertise and attributes, and in their applications candidates should make clear how they meet one or (ideally) more of these requirements.

  • Knowledge and experience of:
    • research in international settings, and/or ‘decolonising’ approaches to research
    • research in different nations of the UK
    • digital contexts for research, particularly artificial intelligence and social media in educational research
    • practitioner research, across a range of practice settings.
  • Experience as a(n):
    • independent researcher
    • member of a university ethical review board
  • Diversity in terms of (for example):
    • career stage
    • UK national contexts
    • race and ethnicity.

While membership of the working group will be limited to those who are UK-based, expressions of interest are welcome from outside the UK from those interested in acting as international advisers to help us make the guidelines more accessible and applicable to researchers beyond the UK.

We are particularly keen to hear from candidates interested in joining or even chairing the working group that will subsequently be convened and charged with implementing the recommended revisions (see the project timeline below).

How to apply

To apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement to Your supporting statement should, in 500 words or fewer, give an account of what expertise and experience you would bring to bear on the revision of BERA’s Ethical Guidelines, making specific reference to as many of the above requirements as possible. Please address any queries to

The deadline for applications is 23.59 on Monday, 28 February 2022. The selection process will be led by Dr Fox and BERA CEO Nick Johnson, in consultation with BERA Council.

The working group will be convened and start work within March 2022.

Project timeline


March 2022

The review group (RG1) is appointed and begins work.

July 2022

RG1 presents its report and recommendations to BERA concerning the level of revision required to the Ethical Guidelines.


September 2022

A call is issued for a chair and members of the revision group (RG2), which will produce a revised edition of the Ethical Guidelines based on RG1’s recommendations as adopted by BERA.

November 2022

RG2 is appointed and begins work.

April 2023

An initial draft of and/or a progress report on the revision is submitted to BERA for discussion.

July 2023

Full revised guidelines are submitted to BERA for final review/discussion.

September 2023

Final draft of revised guidelines is approved.


December 2023

Copyediting, typesetting and proofreading process begins, in consultation with a designated lead from RG2.


Fifth edition of the Ethical Guidelines to be published in BERA’s 50th anniversary year.

About BERA’s Ethical Guidelines

Published in their first edition in 1992, BERA’s Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research are an invaluable, much-read and widely cited resource that supports educational researchers to conduct research to the highest ethical standards in any and all contexts.

They unequivocally recognise and celebrate the diversity of approaches in educational research, and promote respect for all those who engage with it: researchers and participants, academics and professional practitioners, commissioning bodies, and those who read and utilise the research. Representing the tenets of best ethical practice, they are deliberative rather than prescriptive and cognisant of the dilemmas, situated judgements and creative solutions that arise during the research process. They take account of new technological, legislative and cultural developments, and provide a wealth of links to other resources on ethics, legislation and best practice.