Ethics and Integrity

Ethics and Integrity

What to do if my research...

Involves human participants and/or the collection of personal data

Does your research project involve human participants and/or the collection of personal data, such as interviews, online or street surveys, data harvesting, participant observation, questionnaires, or focus groups? If so, please note that research ethics review and approval for this kind of research is required, whether conducted by students or research staff, before the research starts. This flowchart and set of FAQs, available from the Central University Research Ethics Committee (CUREC) web pages will help you determine what kind of ethics review is needed. 

Has straight forward ethical issues

If your research raises straightforward ethical issues, you will need to complete a CUREC 1A checklist. If your department has a Departmental Research Ethics Committee (DREC), it will review and approve your CUREC 1A checklist. If your department does not have a DREC, your checklist needs to be reviwed by the Social Sciences and Humanities Interdivisional Research Ethics Committee (SSH IDREC).

Has complex or higher risk ethical issues

If your research raises complex or higher risk ethical issues, please complete a CUREC 2 application form that will need to be review by your DREC (where applicable), and then sent on to the SSH IDREC for final review and approval. 

When submitting....

Please submit the appropriate form along with relevant support documentation (e.g. invitation ltter/poster, information sheet, consent form/oral consent script (if applicable), (sample) interview questions, online survey). Further information and sample informed consent templates can be found on the Informed Consent webpages. 

Best practice

Applicants should refer to relevant Best Practice Guidance documents (e.g.) for elite/expert interviewing, internet-based research, data collection and management, researcher safety), guidance from professional associations, and CUREC approved procedures (e.g. for research involving UK prisoners, children in classroom settings or institutional settings, and deception). 

Review and approval

Review and approval of CUREC 1A checklists can take up to 30 days from receipt of completed documents. A CUREC 2 application will normally be reviewed within 60 days of first receipt of the completed form. Extra time fo rboth CUREC 1A and CUREC 2 applications should be allowed outside term time. in complex casses or if additiional information has to be requested/ Ethical issues should therefore be considered well in advance of submitting an application, and in paralell with planning for fieldwork and research data management

Ethics and Integrity training

Termly research ethics and training sessions are provided, which offer guidance on how to apply for ethical review. 

All Researchers are strongly encourage to take the online research interity course, which provides an introduction to good practice in researcher, covering how to design, conduct and report your research. A research integrity checklist is also available which has been designed for use by students and supervisors to address issues of research integrity and good research practice as part of the supervision process. 

Futher information is available from the Research Ethics and Research Integrity web pages.