All research involving human participants, whether undertaken by the University's staff or students, must undergo an ethics review and ethical approval must be obtained before it commences. ‘Human participants’ are defined as including living human beings, human beings who have recently died (cadavers, human remains and body parts), embryos and foetuses, human tissue and bodily fluids, and personal data and records (such as, but not restricted to medical, genetic, financial, personnel, criminal or administrative records and test results including scholastic achievements).
All research involving animals other than humans where the animal is the subject of the research, whether undertaken by the University's staff or students, must undergo an ethics review and a favourable opinion must be obtained before it commences. For the purposes of ethics review of research, the University uses the broadest definition of animal.
Before you begin the application process please ensure you have consulted the guidelines for ethical approval.
The Moodle course Research Involving Human Participants provides an overview of the responsibilities researchers have when conducting research involving human participants. It also outlines the ethical considerations of such research. Completion of this course is recommended before commencing an application for ethical approval for the first time
Guidelines for ethical approval of research involving animals (.pdf).
This document sets out the University requirements, including the protection and rights of animal subjects and researchers. These guidelines should be read in conjunction with the published University Policy Statement on the Use of Animals in Research to which they link.
Research must not commence until written approval has been received. This should be borne in mind when setting a start date for the project. Ethical approval cannot be granted retrospectively and failure to obtain ethical approval prior to data collection will mean that these data cannot be used.
Applications for ethics approval are made via ERAMS (Ethics Review and Management System). On submission ERAMS will route your application to your departmental Ethics Officer. For students, ERAMS will route your application to you supervisor who is required to confirm that they have read and approved the quality of both the research proposal and the application.
If your project involves NHS participants it may require a review through the Health Research Authority (HRA). Any application to the HRA will need to be authorised by the Research Governance and Planning Manager so it is important that you to contact the Research Governance Team, as soon as possible so we can provide you with help and advice about the process.
There are various bodies that may or may not need to review your application depending on the project to be undertaken and the participants involved. In addition, if your research requires a review by one of UK Health Departments’ Research Ethics Service Committees, you will not need to seek a full ethics review through the University’s review processes.
The following points may help you to get started:
Does your research involve the Ministry of Defence or serving members of the military? If so, you will need to make an application to MoDREC.
Please contact the research governance team (email@example.com) at an early stage if such an application is required.