Innovation Ethics Fellow – Zolberg-IRC Fellowship Summer 2021

  • Anywhere

Project Description:

The Innovation Ethics Design will be responsible to develop an online assessment tool and accompanying guidance to help facilitate efficient and timeline assessment of ethical risks in human centered design and other innovation methods (studies not classified as human subjects research). This work is expected to entail:

  • Review of ethical principles and existing system and documents for ethical reviews.
  • Conduct interviews with IRC staff who work in innovation studies to better understand the range of methods, approaches, risks, and team involvement in these studies, as well as challenges related to contexts, timeliness, and other topics.
  • Create an online assessment tool to help teams 1) self-assess level of ethical risks; 2) identify next steps (including whether a full review is needed or not); and 3) identify relevant tools based on their self-assessment responses, including appropriate guidance on consent and assent, working with vulnerable populations, addressing sensitive topics, data protection and management, and mitigating risks across the project cycle.
  • Help finalize tools & guidance to ensure that they are user-friendly and accessible (as mentioned in the point above, these guidance include appropriate guidance on consent and assent, working with vulnerable populations, addressing sensitive topics, data protection and management, and mitigating risks across the project cycle.)

Potential areas of focus and/or deliverables: 

  • An automated product that processes unique project variables and generates a risk measurement while also delivers existing tools and templates to smooth and support ethical processes, and alerts other team members of the evaluation. (ie. typeforms with integrations).
  • Finalized set of accompanying tools & guidance.

Student skill-sets sought:

  • Qualitative research skills especially in prototyping
  • UX design experience
  • Familiarity with ethical processes and evaluations
  • Preferable experience making digital products

Work Environment: This fellowship will work directly with the Airbel Impact Lab.  This fellowship is remote.

Fellowship Length: Fellowships are 35 hours/week from June 14, 2021-August 20, 2021 (10 weeks).

How to apply: The deadline to apply is Monday, May 18, 2021. Please submit one document containing a cover letter, CV/resume and two work samples (writing and/or design portfolio – 3-5 pages maximum per sample) to Catherine McGahan,

Interviews will be conducted in late May and early June.

Requirements: Students must be a matriculated graduate or PhD student at The New School.  Students who will graduate in Spring 2021 are not eligible.

Team: Airbel Impact Lab, Research and Innovation at the IRC. With over 70 million people displaced, the world is facing an unprecedented crisis. To address the evolving and growing nature of this crisis requires not just more aid, but new thinking. There is a lack of proven, cost-effective, scalable services for people affected by crisis. In some cases, there is a lack of evidence on what works. In others, evidence shows existing solutions are effective, but we need to find new ways of delivering them at scale in fragile states. That’s why the IRC created the Airbel Impact Lab. Our goal is to find and advance breakthrough solutions — with people and ethics at the center of all we do.

The IRC created research ethics systems and guidelines with a strong focus on addressing the specific issues inherent to research among populations grappling with armed conflict, disasters triggered by natural hazards, or health-related emergencies. We established an Institutional Review Board (IRB) in to provide ethical oversight of human subjects research with a focus on humanitarian settings and refugee resettlement. In addition, we have providing ethical reviews of human centered design and other innovative studies that is not considered human subjects research, to ensure that the ethical principles of respect (including informed consent), beneficence (do no harm, mitigating risks), and justice.

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