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Framework for Responsible Research and Innovation in ICT
Case Study Competition Round 1
Closes 19th January 2012

The Framework for Responsible Research and Innovation is an EPSRC-funded project that aims to understand how the community of ICT researchers view responsibility, how they identify responsibilities and what they do to discharge them. It will do so by creating a network of interested ICT researchers, undertaking a landscape study to understand the current state of the art and building an observatory that will serve as a repository to exchange views and content. In addition the project will use some of the available resources to fund case studies.

In this first of two rounds, £20 000 will be available to fund a minimum of four case studies. This call outlines the expected structure and contents of case studies, ways of applying and criteria a processes of acceptance.

Background

Ethical issues arising from the development and wide-spread use of ICT are of increasing concern. Prominent examples include of the limitations of privacy in social network sites, ownership and control of data by search providers or the limitations on the use of large-scale public databases or ICT systems.

Although there is broad acceptance that ethical questions are relevant to ICT, and that the way they are addressed can influence the acceptance and acceptability of novel technologies, it is not clear how this is to be done nor how responsibilities should be defined and realised.

The FRRIICT project seeks to develop a more grounded understanding of these issues and to develop a network of researchers interested in them. To support its work activities, the project has set aside a research budget for the development of case studies which demonstrate interesting examples of how ethical issues have been addressed in actual R&D projects

The case studies will be used to contribute to the understanding of responsible research and innovation and to foster debate in the field. It is also expected that they will be made available to the research community as teaching materials. They will be made publicly available via the Observatory under a creative commons licence.

Content of the Case Studies

Case studies should provide an illustration of key aspects of responsible research and innovation in ICT. Examples of such aspects may be positive or negative examples of:

  • Nature of the ethical or responsibility issue in question
  • Field of application
  • Ways of identifying the issue
  • Aspects of the context that are particularly relevant
  • Methods of addressing the issue

Successful proposals will clearly demonstrate focus on at least one of the above.Because of the priority placed upon case studies being derived from actual cases, it is expected that the usual methods for anonymisation will us used where appropriate.The case studies must be submitted using the proforma available on the project website.The proforma contains further detail on content of the submission and topics to be covered.

Evaluation Criteria

A panel comprising of members of the project’s core network will assess the entries against the following criteria:

  • Relevance of the case study to the broader field of ICT (EPSRC ICT portfolio);
  • Generality or distinctiveness of the issue raised;
  • Broad relevanceto other applications, technologies etc.
  • Potential to be turned into teaching material or audio-visual material for broader dissemination for other audiences;
  • Justification of the use of resources Eligibility

All researchers employed or registered at a UK Higher Education Institute eligible for RCUK grant funding are eligible to apply. This includes research assistants, post-doctoral research assistants, PhD students, fellows, lecturers, professors.

Applications are also welcome from applicants outside of UK higher education. Such applications will have to demonstrate their relevance to the EPSRC ICT portfolio. The successful applicants for case study funding will be subcontractors to the FRRIICT project. It is therefore necessary for at least one of the applicants per submission to be affiliated with a UK organisation.

Applications are not limited to individuals, a team of researchers can apply but a lead person must be named. The case study money can be split between the team as appropriate.

Eligible amount of funding

Funding is available of around £5000 per application. Grants are paid in arrears via invoice after case studies are complete and have been evaluated positively by the FRRIICT team. Evaluation criteria of completed case studies are:

  • Relevance of the case study for the FRRIICT project
  • Presentation allowing dissemination via the Observatory
  • Soundness of approach
  • Analytical depth and insight into issues of responsible research and innovation
  • Quality and relevance of conclusions / recommendations

Funding will cover direct costs but not indirect costs or estates.

Key dates

 

Event

Date

 

Closing date for the submission of entries

 19 January 2012
 

Judging Panel meeting

 31 January 2012
 

Announcement of winners

03 February 2012
 

Commencement of award

14 February.2012
 

Mid-term report

 30 April 2012
 

Submission of final case study

16 July 2012
 

Presentation of case study at showcase event

February 2014

How to Apply

  • No material that is confidential is included in the application.
  • The necessary permissions to share the information are sought in advance from therelevant people.
  • The information contained may potentially be used for publicity material by theFramework for Responsible Research and Innovation in ICT project. Notification of this will be given to entrants where possible.

Successful Entries Only

Successful applicant will be sub-contractors of the FRRIICT project. They will need to provide relevant financial information to the University of Oxford.

The final version of the case study will be presented at the project’s showcase event, planned for February 2014.

Selected case studies will need to be submitted via a document discussing the following aspects in separate sections:

Item

Maximum Length

Abstract 200 words
Field of ICT in question 100 words
Who or what was responsible? 500 words
Why were they responsible? 500 words
What were they responsible for? 500 words
How was the object of responsibility identified? 500 words
How was responsibility discharged? 500 words
What are the lessons learned? 500 words

Conditions of Award

These conditions are intended to ensure: first, that grants are spent for the purposes for which they were requested; second, that the FRRIICT is informed promptly of any significant changes in the project being supported and permission is sought where necessary; and third, that the FRRIICT receives a proper account of the outcomes of the project.

  1. Grants must be used solely for the purposes set out in the application and approved by the FRRIICT, and shall be undertaken in accordance with the EPSRC funding terms and conditions for the overall FRRIICT programme.
  2. The grant holder(s) will be responsible for the conduct of the work. The organisation administering the award is responsible for the employment of the staff working on the project and their terms and conditions, and for providing appropriate facilities for the work.
  3. The host organisation and the grant holder must ensure that all necessary ethical committee approvals, agreements about access, animal licences and requirements of regulatory authorities are in place before the work begins and are maintained for the duration of the grant.
  4. Any financial support for the project obtained from other sources must be made known to the FRRIICT as soon as possible.
  5. The FRRIICT reserves the right to terminate an award if the grant holder, or staff funded by the grant, are in breach of any of the conditions of award or become unfit or unable to pursue the work funded by the grant.
  6. The permission of the FRRIICT must be sought in advance where any significant changes are necessary to the work that will be carried out. The Foundation reserves the right to judge if any project would be so compromised by the changes that the grant should be terminated.
  7. The grant holder must provide FRRIICT with a written report of activities funded by the award within 2 months of the end of the award.
  8. To enable FRRIICT to fulfil its obligations to EPSRC with respect to providing value for money, grantees are required to provide a clearly itemised invoice to accompany their claim.

Contacts

If you have any questions, please contact:
Dr Grace Eden, Oxford eResearch Centre, grace.eden@oerc.ox.ac.uk

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