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Complaints Procedure

For those wishing to express concerns or make a complaint

Participants with concerns or complaints

If a participant in a project/interview has concerns or complaints, the first step should be to contact the lead researcher and/or project supervisor(s). Contact details for the project supervisor should be available on the Participant Information Sheet provided.

If these contact details are not available, or the supervisor is not able to satisfactorily resolve the complaint, or the participant wishes to query whether ethical approval has been granted for the project, the second step should be to contact the relevant School Ethics Committee convenor.

If the School Ethics Committee is not able to satisfactorily resolve the concern, question or complaint, the final formal step should be to contact UTREC.

Researchers with concerns or complaints

If a researcher has concerns about the way in which a School Ethics Committee is operating or has concerns regarding the way they themselves or others have been treated by the SEC, this should be brought to the attention of the UTREC Convenor.

Your rights to express concerns or to complain about UTREC

If a participant, researcher, supervisor or S.E.C. Member wishes to raise a complaint against UTREC, it should first be noted that there is no appeal against UTREC in decisions about the granting of ethical approval.

If however a complaint is raised relating to the following this may be submitted to the Master:

  • procedural irregularity
  • bias or prejudice
  • harassment or bullying

Procedures for serious concerns or complaints

If a staff member or student has serious concern about researchers who are not following the ethical procedures, they may as an alternative to what is said above (which is the preferred route) register their concerns, in complete confidence, by approaching UTREC.

All concerns or complaints will be dealt with informally in the first instance however in exceptional cases may be directed to the Vice Principal of Research to formally investigate. In this situation the University's own disciplinary procedures will be implemented.

Please also be aware of the University's policies on Academic Appeals and Student Conduct.

UTREC word cloud


UTREC Office

College Gate
St Andrews
KY16 9AJ
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: 01334 462368


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