This week JRS UK welcomed Mary Bosworth, Director of the Centre of Criminology and Border Criminologies at Oxford University, to give a workshop on research ethics at their centre in Wapping. Mary discussed ethical principles for research, the importance of understanding secondary/ vicarious trauma and heard more about the work of JRS UK to see how she could be of assistance.
JRS UK’s Policy Officer, Sophie Cartwright, attended the workshop, and in light of her current research into detention, found it incredibly fruitful: “This was a really engaging workshop, and it was so useful to have the opportunity to come together with an expert to think through research ethics and practice from a variety of different angles.”
Mary kindly prepared multiple resource packs for the use of JRS UK staff, which included: a research design sheet, an interactive research integrity document, case studies, journals and guidance notes – to aid in our research methods.
Read ‘Out in the Cold’ – Research undertaken by JRS UK that uncovers patterns of street homelessness affecting refugees.
JRS has a special ministry to advocate for those who have been made destitute in the process of seeking asylum and those held in immigration detention near Heathrow. Our advocacy includes interviewing those who we serve and approaching them as “dignified human agents who are able to shape their own futures.” However, this often means being exposed to sensitive content over a period of time, and what Mary highlighted was the importance of understanding the emotional impact on researchers; emphasising that questions regarding well-being are of equal importance to staff as they are to participants.
Although principles surrounding academic research ethics varies from that of JRS UK as a faith-based organisation, Mary’s experience, expertise and entries into potential academic platforms were warmly welcomed and will be of incredible use here at JRS.