UREC Appeals Procedure


The University is committed to building research excellence and ensuring that any research activities which involve human participants or personal data are undertaken in such a way that they ensure that the dignity, rights, safety, inclusivity and well-being of all participants are given primary consideration. As part of this commitment, the University has established a procedure to allow appeals against the decisions of the Research Ethics Sub-Committees.

This procedure applies to all University staff and research students and their supervisory teams engaged in a research project that has followed the University’s Code of Practice for Ethical standards for research involving human participants, and that has been reviewed by a University Research Ethics Sub-Committee.

Appeals against a decision:

The appeal will be considered by the full University Research Ethics Committee (UREC), which the two Sub-Committees report to. The appeal request will be added to the agenda of the next meeting of UREC. UREC meets twice each semester. Dates of the upcoming UREC meetings.

The following constitute grounds for appeal:

  • There were errors in procedure which impacted on the decision of the Sub-Committee.
  • The decision demonstrates factual error on the part of the Sub-Committee.
  • There is evidence of bias or prejudice on the part of the Sub-Committee, or one or more of its members.
  • There were material circumstances relating directly to the application of which the Sub-Committee was not aware.

Please note: A researcher may not appeal against the decision of a Sub-Committee purely on the grounds that they disagree with the decision.

Appeal Procedure

Download and complete the appeal form.

Submit the completed form to the Ethics Office, ethics@brookes.ac.uk, within three weeks of the Sub-Committee decision letter. Confirmation of receipt will be given by email. The Faculty Research Ethics Officer (FREO) cannot enter into any individual conversations or correspondence with the individual generating the appeal.

Formal notification of the outcome decision will be sent to the appellant within one week of reviewing the appeal.

The decision of UREC is final. There is no further right of appeal if the appeal is not upheld.

Possible Outcomes

  • Appeal not upheld. The original Sub-Committee decision stands.
  • Appeal Partially Upheld – Revisions to the original application requested.
  • Appeal upheld. A letter of approval will be issued.

Approved by University Research Ethics Committee: 25/11/2015
Approved by University Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee: 01/12/2015
Approved by Academic Board: 10/2/2016