The University of Sheffield
Research Ethics and Integrity

3. University Ethics Review Procedure (University Procedure)

The University Procedure has been designed to take into account the differences between disciplines, and aims to achieve an appropriate balance between carrying out the ethical review of research projects in a sufficiently rigorous way to effectively protect the welfare, dignity and rights of human participants, whilst also being risk-aware, flexible and as user-friendly as possible in order to facilitate research within departments.

The University Procedure is based on the following guiding principles:

Although ethical approval is required before any data collection involving human participants commences, applicants are expected to consider the ethical implications of their research at all stages of the project. Even the most well thought-out project may come across unexpected ethical challenges after approval has been obtained, and researchers should constantly reflect on the ethics of their research. If changes are made to the project after approval has been obtained, it may be necessary to obtain re-approval in certain circumstances, which are explained in Section 3.1.8 of this document.

Section 3.1.8: What Happens if Changes are Made to the Project After Ethics Approval has been Obtained?

Since academic departments have considerable flexibility in how they operate the University Procedure, applicants will need to refer to their own department for details of the specific process they are required to follow. The following section outlines the minimum requirements set by the UREC within which departments must operate the procedure.

Forward to next page of the Research Ethics Approval Procedure - Section 3.1: The University Procedure in practice