Emerging ethical challenges in researching vulnerable groups during the COVID-19

Deniz Pelek .*, Vladimir Bortun ., Eva Kristine Ostergaard Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)


This paper discusses the lasting impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on research ethics in social sciences by focusing on the concept of vulnerability. We unpack the current conceptualisations of vulnerability and their limitations and argue for the need to reconceptualise vulnerability as multidimensional, consisting of both universal and contextual dimensions, as well as their dynamic interplay. Multidimensional vulnerability is inspired by and relevant to social science research during the pandemic but can also be useful in other contexts such as climate change or conflict. The paper puts forwards several considerations about how this revised concept of vulnerability may be useful when evaluating ethical dimensions of social science research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-34
JournalQualitative Research
Early online date31 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2023


  • Covid-19
  • Ethics
  • Methodology
  • Pandemic
  • Social sciences and humanities
  • Vulnerability


Dive into the research topics of 'Emerging ethical challenges in researching vulnerable groups during the COVID-19'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this