University research ethics review is not required when data collection is not for 'research' and when the involvement of human beings is not that of 'participants'. The following is a checklist to determine whether the research requires ethics approval, please speak to your Faculty Research Ethics Officer if you are in any doubt. Please note, this only applies to staff, PhD students are required to submit a full application to UREC for any studies involving the participation of humans in their study.
Does your research consist wholly of:
- routine audit, performance review or evaluation conducted by an organisation as part of good practice;
- the collection of data for the purposes of evaluating an educational activity (not to be published);
- research of contemporary issues in the public domain including public policy issues, national and international events and literary or artistic productions where it involves no interaction with the individuals who are the subject of the study;
- research in which individuals are asked to provide information but in which they are not the subjects of the research (i.e. they are not asked about their own views, attitudes, concerns, interests, behaviour, achievements or anything else pertaining to them as individuals.
A brief outline of the study making it clear that no data from human participants are being gathered for research purposes should be forwarded to your Research Ethics Officer, along with the completed downloadable form which they should sign off. A copy of the completed form should be given to the UREC Administrator for the file.
NB - it is for the Research Ethics Officer, not the researcher, to decide whether the proposal requires UREC approval.