What is research governance?

The standards and principles of the Research Governance Framework currently apply to all research that relates to the responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Health. This includes any research undertaken by academic or independent bodies/ individuals, in or with social care agencies, as well as research undertaken by those agencies themselves.

The purpose of Research Governance is to ensure the highest standards of quality in research. This covers scientific quality and standards of ethics, and all related management aspects in the setting up, conduct, reporting and progression to healthcare improvements.

The Research Governance Framework sets out responsibilities for all involved in research: researchers (including students and their supervisors), care professionals, funding bodies, hosts, employers, and sponsors of research.

Acting as a Sponsor

The Sponsor is an individual, organisation or group taking responsibility for securing the arrangements to initiate, manage, monitor and finance a study. For any research that takes place in the context of the NHS or Social Care services, it is necessary that a Sponsor is identified. The Sponsor is normally expected to be the lead employer of the research team, the lead health or social care organisation, or the main funder.

Main responsibilities

The Sponsor has the responsibility for ensuring that all the necessary arrangements are in place before the study can proceed, including:

  • Assure that research study has obtained scientific quality approval from the necessary bodies;
  • Ensure that the study has obtained ethical approval;
  • Ensure arrangements are in place for the monitoring and reporting of research;
  • Ensure the research team have access to resources and support to deliver the research as proposed.

If you wish the University to act as the Research Sponsor of a project, under the terms of the Department of Health's Research Governance Framework, please download a copy of this form, complete and get agreement from your Faculty’s Dean. A copy of the form must then be sent to Sarah Taylor in RBDO.