People smile with recognition and empathy when I mention that I’m preparing an ethics application. Fellow postgrads fix me with a grin and tell me how much fun the process is. My supes all but giggled when I mentioned the 9 pages of tedious paperwork I found on the human ethics web page, but they didn’t mention anything about the supporting documentation required. Everyone who has been through the process understands that it’s daunting enough that they don’t have to issue any warnings. They just smile knowingly.
Preparing an application is difficult at the best of times, but preparing one in a hurry is definitely not recommended. Unfortunately I really needed to get mine in this round, so I made a particular effort. It won’t be approved until mid April, which is just enough time to get my study done.
Going through this process does have its benefits. Firstly, it forced me to consider my methodology more carefully. Secondly, it made me get in touch with a whole range of people and start talking about actually collecting data. This turned up the unexpected piece of info today that I really ought to be doing my questionnaires and interviews with Civil Litigation students. Third, it got me thinking about analysis, which has already got me worried. I need some training. It turns out that SGS offers a whole bunch of <a href=”http://www.gradstudies.unimelb.edu.au/prog_services/programs/upskill/research.html”>research skills seminars</a> in first semester. I’m going to attend a couple of them for sure. I also need to get hold of NVIVO.