Research ethics policy and procedures Research ethics policy and procedures

Background

The School has a Research Ethics Committee (CMP-REC) which is a sub-committee of the University Research Ethics Committee (U-REC). U-REC reports to both Senate and Council, as it is responsible for the proper conduct of research carried out within the University.

Broadly, the University policy is that any research that involves animals or people must have prior approval from the relevant REC; failure to obtain approval is a disciplinary offence. (Under no circumstances can ethics approval be granted retrospectively.) Further details are contained in the UEA research ethics policy.

Procedure

All applications to the CMP-REC are paper-based, using the CMP ethics checklist (140Kb, PDF) and will be considered as rapidly as possible. Applications that are outside the scope of the Committee's expertise will be referred to another appropriate REC. (All animal research except for non-intrusive observation is handled by BIO-REC. All medical and allied research is handled by FMH-REC, which meets monthly.)

The checklist provides a summary of the application and is supported by:

  • Project summary: This briefly describes the project and gives REC members important background information.
  • Research protocol: This should describe the research in sufficient detail to allow somebody else to fully understand the proposed work with no additional explanation. The guidance notes provided with the CMP ethics checklist are intended to list the issues that need to be discussed in most CMP applications.These notes are not a list of questions to be answered verbatim.
  • Other documentation: Any questionnaires, interview protocols, letters, emails, consent forms, information sheets, that will be used in the research.

Common issues

The most common reasons for rejecting applications and requiring them to be resubmitted are:

  • Missing descriptions of purpose of the research, how long it should take, consent, contact details and any risks or benefits to participants. These most commonly form part of the introduction to the questionnaire or survey. 
  • Missing explanations of how subjects will be recruited and the target number of subjects; these are part of the research protocol.

Sensitive data

If sensitive data is collected or held by members of the School, the sensitive data form (37Kb, PDF) describing arrangements covering it must be completed and submitted to CMP-REC.

Confidentiality

If, as a consequence of undertaking research, you will obtain confidential information, you should complete the CMP confidentiality declaration (20Kb,PDF) and submit it to CMP-REC. If you sign a non-disclosure agreement with an outside organisation, copies of the agreement should be given to REN or CMP-REC as appropriate.