Research Design 2: Risk-planning Session

To help you identify the kinds of risks and mitigating measures that your research goals or methods might expose your Human Research Subjects to, we strongly advise organising a risk-planning session early on in your research design. You can of course organise such a session with just you and your brain, but with a small diverse team, who have a range of expertise, and can role-play different stakeholders (including researchers and Research Subjects), you’ll be more likely to elicit the full range of possible risks and consider a wider range of mitigating measures. 

The TU Delft Risk-planning Tool: Managing Risk in Human Research, can help you to prepare and run this session, providing prompting questions on common sources of risk and the kinds of mitigation measures that can help to minimise them. You can share the tool digitally or print out for reference during your session.

Using the risk-planning tool

You can use the tool to help you interrogate different stakeholders about any potential risks and mitigating measures. By the end of even a brief session, you should have produced a draft Risk Assessment and Mitigation Plan, which will later for the basis of your application for Human Research approval. You can also capture any remaining queries which might require input from additional internal or external experts.

Capturing your risk-planning discussion

It’s possible that during your risk-planning discussion you identify questions for which you do not currently have the right answers. We’ve developed a template to help you capture your discussions and flag any additional expertise you might need to consult before you can finalise your research design.