Ethics reviewers may decide that a project requires changes before it can be approved. Unless the changes are very minor corrections or errors in the written information given to participants, the researcher should submit an amendment.


When should an amendment be made? 

Examples of when an amendment is required include, but are not limited to

  • engagement with a different group of participants
  • a different method for recruiting participants
  • a different approach to obtaining consent, such as major changes in the information given to participants or in the consent form
  • a different method of data gathering
  • a different venue for data collection
  • providing incentives or compensation for participation

In some types of research, such as those involving participatory methods, it may be necessary to seek ethics approval for different phases of the same project as it develops over time. In such cases, the researcher may be required to submit a new ethics application for each phase, and should provide the reference numbers of any previously approved applications for the same project in response to the question "Please enter details of any similar applications."

This ensures that the reviewers are aware that the application builds on a previous application, and can seek details of that application where needed.

If in doubt, contact the SCHARR REC.  

Changes detailed in the amendment can only be implemented once they have been approved on the online Ethics Application System

How do I submit an amendment? 

All amendments made to the original application should be submitted via the online Ethics Application System by searching for the approved application in the My Applications screen in the Ethics Application System and selecting Submit amendment.

This will open a form enabling the details of the proposed amendment to be outlined, along with any ethical considerations. Any new or amended supporting documents can also be uploaded if required (changes to previously submitted documents should be highlighted).

Once an amendment has been submitted, the departmental Ethics Administrator will be notified and will appoint an appropriate reviewer (usually the lead reviewer from the original application). 

For students, the amendment will first need to be checked by their supervisor in the same way as a new application.

Amendments cannot be made to self-declared applications. If there are substantial changes, a new application may need to be submitted. 

How long will it take to approve an amendment?

You should allow a maximum of 10 working days for an amendment to be reviewed, but amendments are usually approved more quickly.

Centres of excellence

The University's cross-faculty research centres harness our interdisciplinary expertise to solve the world's most pressing challenges.