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.
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.
Any material which you collect but for which you do not have ethical approval may not be publishable or allowed in your project; for students, if your dissertation or thesis fails to include evidence of ethical approval, then it could be failed. Also, failure to obtain ethical approval for research involving the recording of personal data may mean that the research is unlawful in terms of data protection.
Failure to obtain and adhere to ethical approvals is defined as research misconduct.