You are likely seeing this page because you have agreed to participate in my research. If I have requested a formal interview with you, you will already have received an informed consent form. The purpose of the informed consent form, and this webpage, is to make sure that you are aware of your rights as a research participant and my intentions as a researcher. It keeps me honest (so, for example, I can’t mislead you about what I’m researching) and it helps to protect you. While the form I gave you is in the dense language of the university legal department, this page will hopefully be a little clearer. As I’ve probably told you in person, if you have any specific questions, just ask me.
Though a consent form varies from project to project, some of the main aspects remain the same. The key things to remember are:
1. You don’t have to participate. It won’t affect my relationship with you or your relationship with the university. Participation is 100% voluntary and if I ever make you feel otherwise, you should contact the university or my supervisor.
2. Even if you agree to participate, you can change your mind at any time. Even if you sign a consent form, you can call me up the next day and tell me you have changed your mind and you no longer consent.
3. By signing the consent form, you are not waiving any legal rights, claims, or remedies. The consent form doesn’t tie you into a legal or binding contract (it’s simply not worded in that way). Signing the consent form is meant to indicate that you have understood to your satisfaction information regarding the research project, your role and rights as a participant, and have agreed to participate.
4. I have to be honest with you about what I’m researching. I can’t mislead you and tell you I’m studying something I’m not and I can’t change or alter what you’ve said to mislead others.