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Remit & Structure

1. To receive details of any research proposed to carry out on human beings by any member of the University. Note: Research Projects involving animals should be submitted to the Animal Welfare Committee.

2. To consider such research and provide any informed recommendations. Typical applications for consideration by UTREC as opposed to the SECS are:

  • Those involving vulnerable adults and children (with minimal exceptions)
  • Those referred by the School Ethics Committees

3. To ensure judgements of the scientific merit of proposals have been made.

4. To advise on the ethics of sudies on human beings, where appropriate and disseminate information on advice, policy, guidelines and regulations.

5. UTREC will periodically review its policies and guidelines.

6. To encourage good practice.

7. Provide training for all ethics committee members (UTREC & SEC) in co-ordination with CAPOD or any other bodies.

8. To halt any research if substantive ethics flaws are identified during review until such time as any flaws have been remedied.

9. To ensure that the ethics review is independent*, competent and timely.

10. To protect the dignity, rights and welfare of participants  and consider any legitimate interest of other individuals, bodies or communities associated with the research.

11. UTREC will make clear and record how they came to their decisions.

12. UTREC is responsible for determining and monitoring the procedures governing the approval process.

13. UTREC will determine the appropriate duration for which such approval will be valid and any appropriate monitoring arrangements.

14. UTREC will report annually to the Ethics Assurance Group and the Audit & Risk Committee in turn.

15. UTREC will formally review funders/sponsors for research and assess whether such funder should be accepted on ethical merit.

* No supervisor should be part of the Committee approval process during consideration of their own supervisee's application.
* Also, if a decision is being made by UTREC following a referral from a SEC then any UTREC members who are part of the SEC should refrain from discussions.


  • Convener (PO member)
  • VP Research (ex officio member)
  • Court representative
  • Layperson(s)
  • Secretary
  • Child Panel Representative
  • Representatives from all Schools which process greater than 10 application per academic year
  • Subject matter experts on invitation (eg. Data Protection co-ordinator, Risk Adviser, AWEC representative, Insurance Officer, Social Media adviser, Security Officer)


  1. Quorum - The quorum of UTREC is four
  2. Lay Person - An essential component of having an 'independent committee' is having a lay person serving on the committee.   This layperson serves on UTREC and as such plays a part in monitoring each School Ethics Committee.
  3. Response time - Ethics applications escalated to UTREC for review will be reviewed monthly and a response issued within a week of the meeting.

UTREC word cloud


UTREC Office

College Gate
St Andrews
KY16 9AJ
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: 01334 462368


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