Process for ethical review

An ethical self assessment should be recorded before commencing work on a new research project.  For staff research projects, the principal investigator should complete the online process; for postgraduate research projects the student should complete with their supervisor. By undertaking an online self assessment, researchers will be guided as to whether ethical approval for their project is required and, if so, an automatic link to the online ethical review form will be generated.

Researchers who are directed to the ethical review stage will receive further guidance to inform them whether it is appropriate to either ‘self certify’ (where ethical issues are minimal) or submit to the University Research Ethics Committee (REC).

The online application process

Stage 1: Self Assessment 

Researchers are required to record basic information to identify:  the project, PI or academic supervisior and student, email address, project title and funder (which includes an option for research with no external funder).  Six basic ‘yes/no’ questions are asked in order to identify any issues of ethical concern.

The researcher submits the completed self assessment form online and the system either confirms that no further action is needed or leads the researcher to the full review form. In either case the system logs the self assessment form. If no further action is needed, the researcher can download a pdf copy of the form for their project records.

Stage 2: Full Ethics Review

Researchers are directed to complete the full ethical review form if they answer "yes" to one or more of the six questions on the self assessment form. In the ethical review form researchers will be guided to consider the ethical issues of different aspects of their project in a further series of yes/no questions. Free text boxes are provided for the researcher to describe how ethical issues will be addressed. At the end of the question section guidance is provided on whether it is appropriate to either ‘self certify’ the review or to seek approval from the REC. The researcher should upload supporting documentation, including participant information and consent forms, at this stage.

Click here to open Ethics Self Assessment form

NOTE: If you are on campus, you should be able to access the form directly. If you want to access off-campus, you should use CampusAnywhere the College’s virtual private network, which will simulate on-campus access.

Flow diagram of the process and example forms 

Ethics Process Flow Diagram

Examples of the records generated by the online process

Stage 1: Self Assessment, no further action required  Self-Assessment form

Stage 2: Full Ethics review submission  Full Review form


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