Research involving NHS patients, staff, premises, resources (pharmacy, radiology or laboratories) or data/tissue in England is required to go through the HRA’s approval process. Royal Holloway provides sponsorship for these projects rather than ethical review.
If you are unsure as to whether you require NHS REC approval, the HRA have created a decision tool, and a student-specific research toolkit. If you do require NHS REC approval you will need to complete an application using the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS). The HRA provides detailed guidance on the process and how to apply, which you should read carefully before submitting an application. The guidance also contains a link through to IRAS and a bite-size eLearning module. Please note that part of the process will involve the confirmation with the NHS trust of the capacity and capability to complete the project.
Applications that are to be submitted to the HRA and NHS REC are required to be prepared using the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS). Instructions on how to complete the form, with question-specific guidance, are available on the IRAS website.
NHS REC review
NHS Research Ethics Committees (RECs) review research applications and give an opinion about whether the research is ethical. For most applicants to the HRA, the NHS REC review forms part of the overall HRA Approval process. For some projects that do not require HRA Approval NHS REC review may still be required.
Royal Holloway Sponsorship
The HRA stipulates for its approval process that research should have a sponsor, taking on overall responsibility for proportionate, effective arrangements to be in place to set up, run and report a research project. To acquire sponsorship from Royal Holloway, email your HRA ethics documents plus a completed Royal Holloway confirmation form to firstname.lastname@example.org (signed off by your Supervisor if you are a PhD researcher, and Departmental Director of Research if you are Staff). Confirmation of sponsorship will be returned in the form of an email.
If amendments need to be made to a research project, Royal Holloway will need to again confirm sponsorship of the amended project. Please email the project documents, plus a newly signed confirmation form, to email@example.com.
If you require a research passport, contact the doctoral school if you are a PhD researcher, and HR if you are Staff.
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)
For students undertaking work with the NHS for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy), sponsorship is signed off by the programme’s Research Director. (Please note, for research for the DClinPsy not involving the NHS, applications are to be submitted through Royal Holloway’s research ethics review process. Please see Applying for Ethical Review - Postgraduate Research Students and Staff, below).