Ethics reviewers

The Department has nominated members of staff as ethics reviewers.

Ethics reviewers must be independent of the applications that they review (i.e. they must not have a conflict of interest with an application).

For each ethics review on reviewer will be designated the lead reviewer

A minimum of 3 ethics reviewers are required to ethically review either a staff-led application or a supervised postgraduate researcher application.

A minimum of 2 ethics reviewers are required to ethically review applications from supervised postgraduate-taught level and from undergraduate level students. In respect of such applications, normally the Supervisor is the `lead´ ethics reviewer (see below).

`Lead´ ethics reviewers

Each individual ethics review of an application should include a `lead´ ethics reviewer, who has been chosen by the department´s `ethics administrator´ to `lead´ the ethics review. The role of the `lead´ ethics reviewer is to decide the ethics review outcome, having considered the comments of the different ethics reviewers involved in a review of an application (see v above for the number of ethics reviewers required). The `lead´ ethics reviewer may ask the ethics review panel to ethically review an application if s/he has concerns about the nature of the research.

Review of contentious applications

In exceptional cases where there is a significant, fundamental difference of opinion (e.g. about the ethics of a proposed piece of research) between the ethics reviewers involved, and it has not been possible to reach a consensus through dialogue between the ethics reviewers (i.e. the application is contentious) then the application should be ethically reviewed by the department´s ethics review panel.

In very exceptional cases (i.e. the ethics review panel cannot itself reach a consensus about an application) the application can be ethically reviewed by the University Ethics Review Committee U-REC.

Appeals process

If an application is not approved, as a result of an ethics review, the applicant may appeal against the decision by contacting the ethics administrator. The ethics administrator will arrange for the department´s ethics review panel to ethically review the application. If the ethics review panel also decides not to approve the application then the applicant may appeal against the decision to the Secretary of the U-REC. The U-REC´s Secretary will arrange for the U-REC to ethically review the application and the U-REC´s decision is final.

Reporting ethics review outcomes to the University´s Research and Innovation Services

Following each individual ethics review (i.e. on an ongoing basis), the ethics administrator will send an electronic copy of the record of the ethics review outcome to the University´s Research and Innovation Services via the link:

Monitoring of the University´s ethics review system by the U-REC and provision of an annual report to the U-REC

The U-REC reserves the right to monitor the Department´s ethics review procedure as and when required and, as a minimum, will contact departments on an annual basis for an annual report of key activities and findings over the preceding twelve months. The ethics administrator for each Department will be responsible for the production of the any annual reports.