Example of consent email

This letter was sent by email soliciting an email response from elite participant-subjects prior to an interview actually taking place. I prefer to address consent issues up front when first contact is made with a participant-subject. However this does not preclude a discussion of the project at the interview and after the interview, including how the confidentiality, privacy and accuracy of the participant-subjects perspective and statements during the interview will be used in the research project.

Title: [Project Title]

To: Participants
My name is [your name]. I am a [your position] in the Department of… at University [your institution]. I am currently conducting research on [your project] [add informative blurb about the substance of your research here] This research is being funded by [funding organisation].
You are invited to participate in my research and I would appreciate any assistance you can offer me. As part of my work, I seek to interview [type of participant].

I would like to interview you but you are under no obligation at all to be interviewed. Interviews would take about half an hour and would be during work time [keep the time of your interviews to a minimum because your respondents will be busy people]. I would prefer to audio tape the interview but this would only be done with your consent and the recorder could be turned off at any time or you can withdraw information any time up until the end of the project, [date listed].

If you do wish [or are able] to be interviewed please let me know by filling in a Consent Form and sending it to me or e-mailing me at [your email address]. I would like to be able to use information and examples you give in your interview in my work. I plan to write one or more journal articles and a book which will draw on the information and perspectives obtained in interviews with [type of participant] like yourself. I would like to be able to use your name in this work. However, if you would prefer, I will not reveal the source of any information you provide, unless you give me permission to do so.

Thank you very much for your time and help in making this study possible. If you have any queries or wish to know more please e-mail me. If you agree to be interviewed I will be happy to discuss any aspect of my research with you further. Sincerely,
[Researcher – your name]
Department of –
University --
For any queries regarding ethical concerns please contact:
The Chair, University Human Participants Ethics Committee,
University Research Office