Research ethics review
All research within the University involving human participants, tissue and/or data must have a research ethics review.
All researchers are responsible for doing research in an ethical manner. You must get a favourable ethics opinion before you collect any data.
If your research is undergoing an NHS or social care ethical review you do not need a secondary ethical review by the University. You will need to contact the research governance team to organise sponsorship arrangements.
Get a research ethics review for your project
Each faculty has a research ethics committee which grants an ethical opinion on research proposals. If you're not sure whether you need to apply for ethics review, speak to your supervisor or contact the Research Ethics and Integrity Manager.
Refer to the Statement on Research Integrity for further information.
Ethics in research
Important issues relating to ethics in research include:
- protecting the rights, dignity, health, safety and privacy of research subjects
- always working with permission
- respecting copyright
- fair representation
- data protection
- working within the law
- respecting the environment, places, people, traditions, customs, and objects, including human remains.
Apply for a research ethics review
Submit your ethics application using the Online Research Ethics Management System (OREMS) along with supporting documentation for your research.
You will need to upload all participant-facing study documents, such as:
- recruitment adverts, messages or forms
- Participant information sheet (Office document, 52kB) or transcript
- Consent form for an adult participant (Office document, 55kB)
- Consent form for an adult on behalf of a child participant (Office document, 48kB)
- debriefing sheet or transcript
- any other relevant material, such as an unpublished questionnaire enquiring about possibly sensitive topics or collecting personal data.
The Research Governance Administrator will arrange a review of your ethics application with the appropriate ethics committee.
The decision process
Once the committee has reviewed your application, the Research Governance Administrator will send you the committee’s opinion by email. There are three possible outcomes:
Favourable ethical opinion
The committee confirms that it has a favourable opinion of your ethics application.
Conditional ethical opinion
The committee outlines the issues that you need to address before it can provide a formal favourable ethical opinion.
Unfavourable ethical opinion
The committee explains the reasons for its decision, and you need to resubmit your research ethics application.
Right to appeal
You have a right to appeal to the University Ethics of Research Committee on any decision, through the committee representative for your faculty.