Research involving the armed forces

Simon Kolstoe, Louise Holden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Human participant military research conjures up pictures of ballistic experiments, biological warfare or top-secret experiments with dubious objectives. In reality the majority of human participant military research is defence orientated and more widely applicable to health or other fields of study. This ranges from the translation of pioneering battlefield treatments into civilian medicine, psychological insights from studies into how people operate under stressful situations, to management studies aiming to understand supply chains or explore team dynamics. In many cases research is carried out by civilian academics applying their expertise to military situations, or perhaps supervising postgraduate students who happen to also be military officers. Here, rather than the subject of the research being problematic, ethical challenges often come from the specific military context. This chapter offers advice to researchers from all fields (medical, quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods) as they design their studies and consider the ethical requirements relevant to conducting human participant research in or for the military.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research Ethics and Scientific Integrity
EditorsRon Iphofen
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-16759-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-16758-5, 978-3-030-16760-8
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2020


  • Ethics
  • Integrity
  • Military
  • Research
  • Governance


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