University research ethics committee

  • The University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) has a multi-disciplinary membership that includes academic researchers (staff and students) from across the Faculties and non-research staff members as well as external from within and outside the University. It has specific responsibility for reviewing research undertaken by staff (both in Faculties and Directorates) and research students (registered for an MPhil, MPhil/PhD, PhD EdD or DCaM) that involves human participants, data or material.  

    UREC is also responsible for ensuring that Faculties have approved procedures in place for the ethics review of projects undertaken within their Faculty. Research Ethics Officers provide an annual report to UREC on ethics review in their Faculty and UREC in turn provides an annual report to the University Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee and the Board of Governors.

    Research ethics review for Undergraduate and taught postgraduate students is undertaken at Faculty level. Please contact your Department/Faculty Research Ethics Officer to confirm the process.

    Details of the review process including which forms should be completed are available on the research ethics review site, see the four sections at the bottom of the page which will determine which process to follow.

    Meeting dates

    The University Research Ethics Committee meets five times a semester in weeks 0, 3, 6, 9 and 12 plus two extra dates during June and July.

    Maximum number of applications to be reviewed

    In order for the committee to review research studies requiring ethics approval effectively, a maximum of 12 applications will be considered at each meeting. The maximum number of applications cannot be increased due to timescale and pressure on committee members.

    Applications will be accepted on a first come first served basis. The documentation must be complete and signed off by the Faculty/Department or Directorate Research Ethics Officer, three weeks before the meeting date. One hard copy should then be sent to the UREC Administrator, Research and Business Development Office, Room BCK1.03, Buckley Building, Headington Campus two weeks before the meeting date. A digital copy will be accepted provided the signatures are in place and the application is in one document, multiple documents cannot be accepted.  

    Once the limit has been reached, any further applications will be carried forward to the next meeting.


    Dates for 2018/2019

    Semester Two / June and July
    Date of Meeting Deadline for applications 
    to the Research Ethics Officer
    Deadline for applications 
    to the UREC Administrator
    10 July 2019  19 June 2019 26 June 2019

    Please note: Due to leave and other commitments UREC is not able to review applications during August. Applications should be received in good time for the July meeting or they will be held back until the first meeting in September. Exceptions will be made for consultancy projects where there is a very short funding timescale.

    Dates for 2019/2020

    Semester One
    Date of Meeting Deadline for applications
    to the Research Ethics Officer
    Deadline for applications
    to the UREC Administrator
    18 September 2019 31 July 2019 4 September 2019
    8 October 2019 17 September 2019 24 September 2019
    30 October 2019 9 October 2019 16 October 2019
    19 November 2019 29 October 2019 5 November 2019
    11 December 2019 20 November 2019 27 November 2019
    Semester Two / June and July
    Date of Meeting Deadline for applications
    to the Research Ethics Officer
    Deadline for applications
    to the UREC Administrator
    22 January 2020  20 December 2019 8 January 2020 
    13 February 2020  23 January 2020 30 January 2020
    4 March 2020  12 February 2020 19February 2020
    26 March 2020 5 March 2020 12 March 2020
    29 April 2020 8 April 2020 15 April 2020
    3 June 2020 13 May 2020 20 May 2020
    1 July 2020 10 June 2020 17 June 2020