Research Ethics Policy

All research undertaken within the Department of Archaeology is subject to ethics review procedures and must conform to the University’s Code of Practice on Research Ethics Ethical Policy. It is the responsibility of all staff and research students to be familiar with the University Research Ethics Code of Practice. Further information can be found at:


Researcher’s Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the Principle Investigator or Supervisor to ensure appropriate research ethics procedure is followed, and to consider any possible ethical or legal implications of the research they or their students propose to undertake. Supervisors of Level 3 and PGT dissertations must assist and advise students throughout the application process. Approval is required for all research activity involving human participants, personal data or human tissue (archaeological human remains are exempt). Approval must be attained before research can commence.

Any research project involving human participants should be conducted in a respectful manner. Ethical dilemmas may arise in relation to the following issues:

Confidentiality and/or Anonymity - This requires that the researcher guarantee that none of participants in the study will be individually identifiable in any way if it is their expressed wish that their identity is not revealed in any published output.

Informed Consent - Participants should be informed of the purpose of the research project, the aims and objectives, and the main uses to which research materials will be applied. In the case of interviewees, permission to reproduce direct quotations must be obtained from participants. It is imperative to be open and honest with participants, and not expose them to risks when conducting your research. It is also important to make participants aware that they can withdraw from the project at any time.

The Departmental Director of Research and the Ethics Administrator are available to offer advice on these issues.

Procedures for Applying for Ethics Approval

Staff and research students planning a new research project must consider the potential ethical issues and consult guidelines (see links above) during the early stages of developing the project. If a research project requires ethical approval a Research Ethics form should be filled out (see link below). All research ethics applications should be submitted to the Departmental Ethics Administrator, Pia Nystrom (

Procedures for Review

The Department has in place an Ethics Review panel. Each application will be reviewed by at least two members of the panel and only after necessary approval has been given can research commence. The Departmental Ethics Review Panel members are: Glynis Jones, Pia Nystrom, Sue Sherratt and Diana Swales.

Applicants may appeal decisions to the Department’s Ethics Review panel, and, if necessary, to the University’s Research Ethics Committee (UREC) in line with the University procedures.

Once a project has been completed the Departmental Ethics Administrator should be informed about its outcome, that appropriate action has been taken with regards to sensitive information, as set out in application, and if there had been any alterations to protocol during research study.

Application Forms

Research Ethics application forms can be found at: