Safeguarding is the action taken to promote the welfare of children under the age of 18 and vulnerable adults and protect them from harm. Within research projects this may include staff, students and collaborators, as well as anyone directly affected by our research and teaching activities on campus, and at research and fieldwork sites in the UK or overseas e.g. research subjects, patients, local communities etc.
Our main funders including UKRI and the Wellcome Trust require the College to ensure that Safeguarding implications are properly considered and managed during the lifetime of the project. The UK Collaboration on Development Research (UKCDR) is working with major funders and defines Safeguarding as:
“any sexual exploitation, abuse or harassment of research participants, communities and research staff, plus any broader forms of violence, exploitation and abuse… such as bullying, psychological abuse and physical violence.”
As part of project delivery and risk assessment planning, the research team should consider Imperial’s Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy [pdf] and Child Protection and Safeguarding Code of Practice [pdf] which outline both duty of care responsibilities and guidelines for those carrying out activities involving children and vulnerable adults. Further guidance for Safeguarding in research contexts is being developed by the College's Safeguarding Committee.