School ethics committees
Research involving humans - response to COVID-19
15 January 2021
Due to the current circumstances, researchers must consider using online or remote methods where at all possible.
Any in-person face-to-face research or research involving travel must be permissible, safe and ethical.
Due to the current circumstances and restrictions in Scotland and the rest of the UK, research involving in-person contact with human participants is only permissible in very limited situations. For more information see the University research and coronavirus page.
Researchers must check the University coronavirus information pages and travel and fieldwork guidance frequently and before commencing any activity to ensure they are complying with current requirements.
For more information on the ethical review process at this time, see the interim guidance for research involving humans.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.
The ethical review process is detailed on the ethical review application page.