Research involving humans
Research involving humans - response to COVID-19
20 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.
If your research involves human participants, their data or samples, then ethical review and approval is mandatory and must be obtained before starting your research.
The University Teaching and Research Ethics Committee (UTREC) is the overarching committee which delegates to each School Ethics Committee the responsibility for the ethical review and approval of the University's research activities involving human participants or human tissues and samples.
Ethical review is a peer-review process to help researchers fulfil their personal responsibility to act in accordance with the University’s Principles of Good Research Conduct (Policy) (PDF) and fully account for ethical issues related to research involving humans; and in doing so, minimise risk to the project, the researcher, the participants and the University.
Failure to obtain and adhere to ethical approvals is defined as research misconduct.
Definition of 'research'
In all documentation, guidance and web pages relating to research involving humans, the term 'research' refers to a process of investigation leading to new insights.
For more information on this definition and the exemption of service evaluations and audits, please refer to the information on what projects require ethical review and approval.
For research involving the NHS:
If you are planning research involving the NHS, visit the Research involving the NHS page.