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Global Biomimicry Practitioners SURVEY

Adult Participant Information Sheet

Investigators Details:

Main investigators:

Erin Rovalo, Loughborough Design School, e.leitch@lboro.ac.uk

Dr John McCardle, Loughborough Design School, j.r.mccardle@lboro.ac.uk

Other investigators:

Ethan Smith, The Biomimicry Institute

Gretchen Hooker, The Biomimicry Institute

Janine Benyus, The Biomimicry Institute

Dr Dayna Baumeister, The Biomimicry Center, Arizona State University 


We would like to invite you to take part in our study. Before you decide we would like you to understand why the research is being done and what it would involve for you.


What is the purpose of the study?

The purpose of the study is to understand the demographic backgrounds and current practices of the emerging biomimicry practitioner community that has grown considerably over the last 20 years.

As a result of the study, we hope to provide new insights into the highly diverse and global practitioner group most engaged with biomimicry to inform ongoing research that can better support them as they work in and continue to co-develop the field of biomimicry.


Who is doing this research and why?

This study is part of a Student research project supported by Loughborough University. The main investigators, Erin Rovalo and Dr. John McCardle, are specifically interested in the types of core competencies held by the biomimicry practitioner community.  Ongoing research will be focused on how the utilization of best practices in design, specifically modeling and prototyping, can enhance understanding and evaluation of the working principles exhibited by natural models.

Other investigators involved in the research include representatives from The Biomimicry Institute and The Biomimicry Center at Arizona State University who are interested in better understanding the needs and current practices of biomimicry practitioners so that they may optimize their educational and non-profit services based on this novel data.


Are there any exclusion criteria?

Because the research is specific to biomimicry practitioners, those who do not self-identify as being a biomimicry practitioner at some level of proficiency are not candidates to complete the survey. Participants must be over 18 years of age.


What will I be asked to do?

The self-completion online survey asks you to respond to questions on the following topics:

●      Your demographic information, including your education and training and your profession

●      Information about yourself as a biomimicry practitioner, including your biomimicry project and teamwork experience

●      Your current practices for finding natural models and abstracting design knowledge from biology


Once I take part, can I change my mind?

Yes.  After you have read this information and asked any questions you may have if you are happy to participate we will ask you to complete an Informed Consent Form, however if at any time, before, during or after completing the survey you wish to withdraw from the study please just contact the main investigator.  You can withdraw at any time, for any reason and you will not be asked to explain your reasons for withdrawing.


Will I be required to attend any sessions and where will these be?

No. This is an online survey only.


How long will it take?

The survey takes about 15 minutes in order to complete.


What personal information will be required from me?

No personal information is required.

You will be given the option to provide your name and email address so that the investigators could potentially reach out to you with follow up questions.  This is optional and not required in order to complete the survey.


Are there any disadvantages or risks in participating?

There are no known or anticipated risks associated with participation in this research.


Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential?

Yes. The data you enter is coded by a reference number and not by your personal identifiers, such as name and email. 

In the event you agree to provide an email as a follow-up contact to participate in further biomimicry research, this will be used only for the purpose of this research and will not be shared to any other parties.

All data is used for statistical purposes only and will be used to publish in academic and professional Journals. No personal information is collected, shared or published


What if I am not happy with how the research was conducted? 

If you are not happy with how the research was conducted, please contact Ms Jackie Green, the Secretary for the University’s Ethics Approvals (Human Participants) Sub-Committee:

Ms J Green, Research Office, Hazlerigg Building, Loughborough University, Epinal Way, Loughborough, LE11 3TU.  Tel: 01509 222423.  Email: J.A.Green@lboro.ac.uk

The University also has a policy relating to Research Misconduct and Whistle Blowing which is available online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/committees/ethics-approvals-human-participants/additionalinformation/codesofpractice/ .


What are the benefits of participating?

Participating in this research offers two main benefits:

  1. Outcomes of the research will be informative to you as a biomimicry practitioner and provide a better understanding of your peer group and its collective characteristics.
  2. There is a ‘thank you gift’ available upon completion, including:
    1. A PDF document outlining 5 'iSites' or biomimicry nature journaling activities


I have some more questions; who should I contact?

Please feel free to contact the main investigators at e.leitch@lboro.ac.uk with any questions you have about participating not answered herein.


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Global Biomimicry Practitioners SURVEY

Informed Consent

Taking Part                                                                                                                                                                                    

The purpose and details of this study have been explained to me.  I understand that this study is designed to further scientific knowledge and that all procedures have been approved by the Loughborough University Ethics Approvals (Human Participants) Sub-Committee.               

·       I have read and understood the information sheet and this consent form.

·       I have had an opportunity to ask questions about my participation.

·       I understand that I am under no obligation to take part in the study, have the right to withdraw from this study at any stage for any reason, and will not be required to explain my reasons for withdrawing.


Use of Information

·       I understand that all the personal information I provide will be treated in strict confidence and will be kept anonymous and confidential to the researchers unless (under the statutory obligations of the agencies which the researchers are working with), it is judged that confidentiality will have to be breached for the safety of the participant or others or for audit by regulatory authorities.                  

·       I understand that anonymised quotes may be used in publications, reports, web pages, and other research outputs.            

·       I agree for the data I provide to be securely archived at the end of the project.        


[Included at start of online survey]

By checking this box you are confirming that;

  • That you are over 18 years of age
  • You have read and understood the terms of this survey
  • You are willing to take part