This paper highlights some of the central ethical challenges involved in undertaking social science research with refugees in conflict and crisis situations. It focuses on two main sets of challenges: first, the difficulties of constructing an ethical consent process and obtaining genuinely informed consent; and second, taking fully into account and responding to refugee participants-capacities for autonomy. The authors also discuss the challenges involved in applying the central normative principles governing ethics review processes-the principles of beneficence, integrity, respect for persons, autonomy and justice-to the context of refugee research. It is argued that researchers should seek ways to move beyond harm minimization as a standard for ethical research and recognize an obligation to design and conduct research projects that aim to bring about reciprocal benefits for refugee participants and/or communities. Some of the methodological issues raised by this analysis are discussed in the conclusion.