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More information about fieldwork

Approval Procedures

All fieldwork must be approved by your department; the following approvals need to be obtained where applicable:

For students, the research rationale and methodology needs to be approved by your supervisor.

All research involving human participants should be subject to ethical review. Some departments have their own departmental Ethics Committees, others use the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Research Ethics Committee (IDREC). The ethics forms and approval process are the same in both cases.

Travel risk assessment
Every department has its own risk assessment form and approval procedure (please contact your Departmental Safety Officer for details). These forms require the researcher to outline what the fieldwork involves, identify the significant safety risks to the researcher associated with the fieldwork and detail the measures in place to mitigate those risks. The level of detail in risk assessment form should be commensurate with the risks involved. Any travel to a country or region which the UK Government Foreign and Commonwealth Office FCO advises against travel to has to be approved by the Head of Department and reviewed by the Safety Office.

University policies must be followed on Safety in fieldwork and Overseas travel.


Travel insurance
University staff and students are eligible for University travel insurance when they travel on University business. Insurance is contingent on having an approved travel risk assessment and compliance with the University policies on Safety in fieldwork  and Overseas travel.      

Contact us

Other University contacts

University Safety Office


Telephone: 01865 (2)70811

Training for fieldworkers

  • The Social Sciences Research and Skills Training website offers a wide range of training opportunities for DPhil students and early career researchers. There are a number of Fieldwork and Research training courses.
  • A number of Safety Office training courses are provided for fieldworkers and those that supervise fieldworkers. 
  • Department research methods courses.  Departments have their own research methods courses which cover research design and methodologies.  Contact your Graduate Administrator for timetables.