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Research ethics

An insistence on the highest ethical standards underpins our research, and the welfare of research subjects is paramount.

Our policies are designed to enable researchers to carry out their research effectively, whilst ensuring that it is consistent with the highest standards of integrity and ethics.

Evidence of thorough ethical review is a requirement of funding bodies across all disciplines, including the Research Councils.

Ensuring ethical practice

Any research project involving human participants, human data or human tissue must be subject to ethical review by an independent, competent, and properly constituted ethics committee. The University operates a two-tier ethical review model by having a University-wide committee and School Research Ethics Committees (SRECs).

Our SRECs are responsible for conducting ethical review of all research proposals within the School involving human participants, their data or tissue (unless the responsibility to conduct such research falls to an external committee). Each SREC is also responsible for the monitoring of ongoing projects and overseeing the suitable training in ethical principles for students and staff.

Our SRECs report to the University's Open Research Integrity and Ethics Committee, which has overarching responsibility for ensuring that research is conducted in accordance with the highest ethical standards.

Research involving NHS patients or relatives of patients must be approved by an NHS Research Ethics Committee.

Find out more about the rules and regulations we adhere to when conducting clinical research.


Research Integrity, Governance and Ethics