Confidentiality and data protection
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.
It is crucial that researchers respect the confidentiality of, and data provided by, their participants in an ethically and legally appropriate manner. This means thinking about how to safely and appropriately store and manage participants' data before any data is collected.
This page details the key information for researchers to consider in relation to participant data. Researchers should also check the guidance pages for specific research methods.
No matter what type of data you collect, it is always important that your participant information sheet (PIS) (Word) and consent form (Word) provide clear and consistent information to participants about their data and offer them an appropriate right to withdraw data, and that this information is consistent with what is written in your ethical review application form (Word).
If personal data have been lost, stolen, or accidentally deleted, researchers must contact firstname.lastname@example.org immediately because the law requires that the University log such instances.