Dr. Larry Felt named the recipient of the Marilyn Harvey Award to Recognize the Importance of Research Ethics

Feb 26th, 2015

Krista Davidson

Dr. Larry Felt named the recipient of the Marilyn Harvey Award to Recognize the Importance of Research Ethics

“You have to make it right to do it right,” said Dr. Larry Felt, retired faculty member, Department of Sociology.

These were the wise words offered when Dr. Felt accepted the inaugural Marilyn Harvey Award to Recognize the Importance of Research Ethics on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. The award was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated leadership in creating an environment of excellence in research ethics. The award was named in honour of Marilyn Harvey, BN, a research nurse who brought forward her concerns regarding research ethics.

“Excellence is guided by research that is ethical and respectful of the rights and welfare of participants,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor. “I am pleased to congratulate Dr. Felt on this immensely important accomplishment and thank him for his outstanding service to this university.”

A dedicated researcher and faculty member for more than 38 years, Dr. Felt has rigorously applied research ethics methodologies not only to his own research in working with low-income families and research collaborations involving the fishery, the environment and health, but has played a significant role in guiding the research of others.  Dr. Felt is one of the original members of the Interdisciplinary Committee of Ethics in Human Research (ICEHR) of which he served from 2000-2003. ICEHR was established in response to the Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct for Research involving humans, which was published in 1998.

In 2007, Dr. Felt was appointed Chair of ICEHR and has played an incredibly active role in defining excellence in research ethics, including his work with the Canadian Association of Research Ethics Board (CAREB) and his efforts with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador toward establishing the Health Research Ethics Authority Act, which came into force in 2011. Dr. Felt was appointed the first Chair of Health Research Ethics Authority (HREA). When he retired in 2013, he was appointed to the Panel on Research Ethics (PRE), joining national colleagues and government in reshaping the second edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2).

“Dr. Felt’s contributions to research ethics at Memorial have provided a foundation for researchers that have come after him, “ said Dr. Ray Gosine, vice-president (research), pro tempore.   “Not only has he established a reputation for himself as researcher dedicated to the fair and respectful treatment of others,but he has guided and mentored colleagues and students across the University along the way.”

Surrounded by family, friends and colleagues, Dr. Felt echoed the importance of trust in the relationship between the researcher and the participant.

“In the last ten years we have built research ethics review at Memorial to a level of respect and professional acknowledgement far beyond ten years ago,” said Dr. Larry Felt, professor, Department of Sociology. “I am confident we have better prepared the next generation of researchers as well as the population in general.”