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Research Ethics

Seeking Ethical Approval


Many research projects may involve no ethical issues, whereas others will have significant ethical requirements, for example those where the research involves human participants, personal data or human tissue. In the first instance, seek advice at a local level ie with a supervisor, Principal Investigator and refer to the university 's Code of Practice on Research Integrity.


School Level

Submissions requiring ethical approval should be submitted initially to your School Research Integrity Committee which in turn reports to the School Research & Innovation Committee. The Integrity committee monitors the operation of research ethics and governance at School level, promoting good practice in the conduct of research & innovation within the School.



Research involving NHS patients, staff or facilities comes under the auspices of the Health Research Authority Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care. This requires all NHS ethical approvals to be made using the HRA’s online Integrated Research Application System (IRAS).  IRAS applications are required to be submitted concurrently along with ethical submissions to your School, due to the timescales involved. Contact your supervisor/Principal investigator for advice on IRAS submissions.  IRAS will pass applications to local NHS ethics committees for clearance. Successful applications are then cleared for use across the whole of the UK NHS.