Research ethics review for Masters and Undergraduate students

  • Research ethics review procedures for Undergraduate and Taught Masters students are devolved to the faculties. Please check with your Department/Faculty Research Ethics Officer for the procedure in your Faculty. The procedure will usually include three elements: the first is a procedure for identifying where a full application for ethics approval needs to be made. This is generally done through a screening checklist (Form E1) which includes a common set of core questions supplemented by further questions appropriate to the research carried out in the Faculty. The second is a procedure for considering full applications for ethics approval. These should be made in writing (Form E2) to the Faculty Research Ethics Officer and considered within a specified time period. The third element is a way of maintaining appropriate records of decisions and of providing written notification to applicants of the decision made (Form E3).

    Basic prototypes for each of these ethics review forms have been provided by UREC and some Department/Faculties have adapted them for their own purposes. Students should complete forms appropriate to the Faculty in which they are registered to conduct their research. Version numbers should be added to the documentation and updated each time amendments are made and agreed.

    Whatever the level of research ethics review, all researchers are expected to give careful consideration to the issue of informed consent. Guidance is provided in relation to both participant information sheets and formal consent forms.

    Research studies that involve the recruitment of patients, carers or staff through the NHS will need to obtain ethics approval from a recognised NHS Research Ethics Committee. Where this is the case, the application should be reviewed and approved by the Health and Life Sciences Faculty Research Ethics Committee (FREC) before going on for NHS or R&D approval. Once the study has been given full approval from the NHS REC a copy of the approval letter should be emailed to ethics@brookes.ac.uk for University records.