School ethics committees
Research involving humans - response to COVID-19
17 April 2020
Until further notice, all research activity involving travel or face-to-face interaction with participants must now stop. See the announcement in full here: Urgent announcement regarding research involving humans (PDF) . This is in line with the approach being taken by the NHS and other institutions. See also the information regarding researchers and fieldworkers abroad.
Research at this time must be conducted using online or remote methods. If that is not possible, it must be postponed.
For more information, see the interim guidance for research involving humans. The guidance includes the types of research that can continue, ethical considerations, making a new ethical review application or amending an existing ethical approval in the current circumstances.
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.