Essential training for research professionals Essential training for research professionals

It is a requirement that every postgraduate researcher attends a training session on Research Ethics. The Faculty of Social Sciences has also developed a structure for the ethical review of research within the University's Research Ethics Framework (Intranet). This structure ensures that all research involving human subjects and/or their data is conducted in such a way to minimise risk to both participants and researchers. The Faculty strives to make researchers aware of the potential ethical issues in carrying out research and that best practice is followed at all times.

All research undertaken in the Faculty (including that carried out by PGR students in the course of their studies), which involves human subjects and/or their data, is subject to ethical review by a subject-specific ethics committee. This review must be undertaken and the application approved before any data is collected. Complex cases and those where conflict of interest have been identified are referred to the University Research Ethics Committee. Separate NHS (National Research Ethics Service) ethics approval must also be sought where proposed projects are to involve National Health Service patients or staff. Key ethical issues involve the availability of information and informed consent, assurances of anonymity, secure data storage, conduct of covert observation, interaction with vulnerable people, participant and researcher safety, use of biological samples, cultural issues, and compliance with the Data Protection Act.

Chairs of subject specific research ethics committees, and websites containing meeting dates and documentation, are as follows:

Other queries from members of the Faculty of Social Sciences relating to research ethics review, including NHS NRES approvals and GREC activities, should be forwarded to the Research and Enterprise Services (REN) Project Officer for SSF, Dr Svetlin Mitov ( in the first instance.