Role of the Study Governance Administrator

As part of the University’s Research Governance Procedure  a ‘Study Governance Administrator’ (SGA) must be identified for each research project.

Whilst the Principal/Chief Investigator (PI/CI) always retains the overall responsibility for the conduct of a study, the role of the SGA is to take day-to-day responsibility for managing the governance requirements.

Key aspects of the SGA role:

1. Acting as a primary point of contact for the departmental Research Governance Contact with respect to obtaining the information/documentation that is required by the University for the purposes of the Research Governance Procedure, in particular:

  • ensuring that the study is registered on the University’s Costing Tool;
  • providing evidence of relevant approvals when these become available (this includes scientific approval and ethics approval for all studies; HRA approval for studies which involve the NHS/Department of Health or require NHS ethics approval; and local authority approval for social care studies involving social care services provided by a local authority (including organisations providing services under contract with a local authority) or prison health services. Other requirements may apply in certain circumstances (more details are available in the research governance web pages)

2. Ensuring that sponsor authorisation has been confirmed by the University BEFORE the research commences (including ensuring that all relevant members of the research team are aware that they cannot commence the research until this is in place).

3. Once sponsor authorisation has been confirmed in writing, ensuring that any further governance approvals that may be necessary (e.g. site-specific approvals) are obtained in a timely fashion, and processes are in place to ensure that the research related to these only commences once these approvals are in place.

4. Managing communication with all members of the research team and any external collaborators to ensure that all necessary governance approvals are obtained, and that research only commences once relevant approvals are in place.

5. Supporting the PI in meeting monitoring and reporting requirements throughout, and following the end of, the study

The role of the SGA may be taken by the PI/CI themselves, or they may wish to appoint an appropriate individual to act on their behalf. This could be a student (providing useful experience as part of their professional training), a member of the research team, or a member of the departmental support team (if agreed with the Head of Department). PI/CIs may wish to consider building specific resource for this role into funding applications.

Training opportunities for SGAs

Regular information sessions for SGAs are provided by Research Services: these sessions provide an outline of the University’s Research Governance Procedure, and the University’s expectations regarding studies which it sponsors. Whilst attendance at these sessions is not compulsory, it is recommended that anyone new to the role of the SGA should attend; in addition, SGAs who have not attended for more than a year should consider attending again as a refresher.

In line with University policy currently sessions are taking place via virtual meetings.  Please contact Lindsay Unwin, Secretary to the Research Governance Sub-Committee for further details or register your interest by completing the registration form