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 the 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 University Research Ethics Committee (UREC).

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 UREC.

Appeals against a decision of the UREC

The following constitute grounds for appeal:

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

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

Appeal Procedure

  1. Download and complete the appeal form.
  2. Submit the completed form to the UREC Secretary within three weeks of the UREC 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.
  3. A sub-committee will be appointed consisting of:
    • a FREO from a different faculty to the individual generating the appeal;
    • one member of UREC who attended the meeting at which the original study was reviewed; a nominee from the Registrar’s Office;
    • the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Global Partnerships, or their nominee.
  4. The sub-committee will meet virtually to read and deliberate the appeal.

Notification of the outcome decision will be given by email from the UREC administrator to the appellant within three weeks of receiving the request to appeal.

Possible Outcomes

  • Appeal not upheld. The original UREC decision stands.
  • Partially upheld decision. Feedback and revisions to the original application requested and returned to UREC.
  • Appeal upheld. A revised letter of approval will be issued following any revisions.
  • The decision of the sub-committee is final, there is no further right of appeal if it the appeal is not upheld.

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