Members of EARN are required to carry out their role in line with Epilepsy Action Research Volunteer Network policies. Having these policies in place will help to ensure that Epilepsy Action’s research activities are seen to be professional, fair and clear. They also ensure that the researchers we support feel certain that confidentiality is respected. The policies are there to protect grant applicants, researchers, Epilepsy Action and members of EARN. Therefore, it is important we all follow these.
EARN conflict of interest policy
In order to fairly assess applications for Epilepsy Action research funding, EARN members need to let us know if they have any conflict of interest. An example would be if a member has a connection with someone who has submitted a funding application. This could be because the applicant is a friend or family member, or is someone known professionally or through work.
There may also be a conflict of interest if a member objects to the research on ethical grounds. None of the research we fund or support will involve animals. However, there may be other aspects of the project that some members, because of their convictions, find unacceptable.
If a member feels that they may have a conflict of interest they should let Epilepsy Action know about this and not assess that application
If a member has any doubts or concerns about any potential conflict of interest they can contact Epilepsy Action for advice.
EARN confidentiality policy
Much of the material sent to EARN members must be treated in the strictest confidence.
EARN members should not disclose any information they receive to any other person. Nor should members contact any of the researchers directly.
Any records, both on paper and computer, should be kept to the minimum. Much of the information sent to EARN members will contain confidential, sensitive and personal information which must not be disclosed to anyone else.
When members have completed their assessment or consultation, the material should be disposed of securely. This can be done by:
• Deleting from their computer,
• Shredding or
• Disposing in a confidential waste bin.
Alternatively, material may be returned to Epilepsy Action for secure disposal.