School ethics committees
Research involving humans - response to COVID-19
30 March 2020
Until further notice, all research activity involving travel or face-to-face interaction with participants must now stop.
Researchers must consider whether they can adapt their research to conduct participant interactions remotely. If this is not possible the research must be postponed.
New ethical review applications will only be accepted at this time if they relate to research that does not involve travel or face-to-face interaction with participants.
This is in line with the approach being taken by other Universities and the NHS.
See the announcement in full here: Urgent announcement regarding research involving humans (PDF)
Please be assured that staff are working very hard to develop additional guidance and processes as rapidly as possible and that these pages will be updated over the coming days and weeks. This is an unprecedented time for everyone so please bear with us.
If your research involves the NHS, see the specific guidance for research involving the NHS.
For more information on research within the University and coronavirus visit the Research and coronavirus page.
For general information from the University on coronavirus visit the Coronavirus information page.
Role and remit
School ethics committees (SECs) conduct the ethical review and approval of research activities within their School that involve human participants, their data or samples. This responsibility is devolved to SECs by the University Teaching and Research Ethics Committee (UTREC) and is subject to monitoring.
SECs can grant ethical approval on the condition that any additional documents or approvals (such as required by other University policies) are obtained before research commences They can also ask researchers to evidence these at a later date or before approval is given. However, the SEC is not itself responsible for issuing, reviewing or approving these items. The researcher is personally responsible for ensuring their research is conducted in line with all University policies, as per the University's Principles of Good Research Conduct (Policy)
For students taking a joint honours degree, these should be submitted to the SEC of the School your supervisor belongs to. If your School does not have a SEC, email the UTREC office at email@example.com for guidance.
The ethical review process is detailed on the ethical review application page.