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The Research and Postgraduate Support Directorate at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) recently hosted a webinar on Research Ethics and Research Integrity: Ensuring Responsible Research Practices via Microsoft Teams.

Facilitating the proceedings of the webinar was Dr Suresh Babu Naidu Krishna, Research Fellow under the Directorate for Research and Postgraduate Support at DUT. The keynote speaker was Professor Minrie Greeff, Chairperson: Research Ethics Association for Ethics Committee Members of Southern Africa (REASA), Research Integrity Officer, Faculty of Health Sciences at the North-West University.

Prof Greeff acts as a mentor, consultant and educator for research ethics, research integrity and qualitative research. She has a long career span from 1972 and she has been sharing her experience and expertise in research, research ethics and research integrity.

“Prof Greeff has received several awards to her contribution to this specific field in Health Sciences. Just to name very few outstanding achievements by Prof Minrie Greeff is that she is invited by the World Health Organisation as an expert researcher in HIV/AIDS, to develop international guidance on counselling children and their caregivers on the disclosure of their HIV status. She is also the Chairperson of the Research Ethics Association for Ethics Committee members of Southern Africa. She is listed in the world’s Who’s Who of Women, in the 15th edition 2011. She is also inducted into the American Biographical Institute Professional Hall of Fame, which is very rare to get,” noted Dr Krishna.

Highlighting her presentation, Prof Greeff said she was going to specifically talk to researchers at DUT and then specifically give attention to aspects of how they can improve responsible conduct of research through ensuring the ethics and research integrity.

“So my question to you as researchers at DUT and other guests listening in as well is why do you do research? Is it for personal gratification and things like promotion or funding opportunities? Is it subsidised funds that you will get for conference attendance or research rating like you heard? Is it research rating that gives you a benchmark rating or because it is really interesting to you or whether you value science and it gives value to the scientific knowledge field or whether it’s a value to society,” asked Prof Greeff.

She explained that honesty, trust and responsibility is very important in research, trust comes through honesty, and honesty is then shared in a relationship between researchers, participants and all interested parties. In addition, Prof Greeff specified that all this leads to a specific responsibility that the community of researchers have.

Prof Greeff also spoke at length about research ethics before engaging in a robust question and answer session with DUT students and staff.

Delivering the closing remarks and vote of thanks was Prof Jamila Khatoon Adam, Chairperson: Institutional Research Ethics Committee (IREC) at DUT. She expressed her gratitude to Prof Greeff for a thought-provoking presentation and also thanked the participants for their contribution in making the webinar a success.

Pictured 1: Professor Minrie Greeff

Pictured 2: Dr Suresh Babu Naidu Krishna

Simangele Zuma

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