Research Ethics for EuroPubHealth

Welcome to the designated webpage for EuroPubHealth research ethics.


The main purpose of this page is to facilitate the research undertaken by students on the EuroPubHealth programme who are on research placement for their dissertations and who do not have access to the online ethics application system. Please note, you should also check with your Second Year University Supervisor what their requirements are for ethical approval, as you will also need to comply with these in addition to ScHARR's ethical processes. 

ScHARR Ethical Review Procedures for EuroPubHealth

The procedures and forms available here comply with the University of Sheffield ethics policy for research involving human participants. All University of Sheffield students will be expected to comply with these regardless of where they are studying. The University's ethics guidelines can be found at the following link:

When do you need Research Ethics?

There are various types of research. You will need ethics approval for all research that involves human participants including secondary data. The forms for primary data collection and for the use of secondary data can be found in the downloads box. 

Literature Review

If your supervisor agrees that your proposed research does not require ethics review, you must complete, and both sign, the literature review student declaration which can be found in the downloads box. This must be included in the appendices for your dissertation.

Secondary Data

Your research will involve only existing data. Applications involving the use of secondary data require submission via the secondary data student declaration form which can be found in the downloads box.

Primary Data Collection

If you are doing primary research, which is research involving interviews or questionnaires, you need to complete the application form in the downloads box.

High Risk

Research may be defined as high risk which involves the following:

  • Particularly vulnerable participants;
  • Infants and children under 18 years of age;
  • People with physiological and/or psychological impairments and/or learning difficulties;
  • People dependent on the protection or under the control/influence of others (e.g. children, pupils, people in care, young offenders, prisoners);
  • Relatives of sick people (e.g. parents of sick children);
  • People who may only have a basic or elementary knowledge of English.

Highly sensitive topics:

  • Race, ethnicity, political opinion, religious beliefs/other beliefs of a similar nature, physical or mental health or condition, sexual life;
  • Abuse (child, adult); nudity; obesity;
  • People affected by conflict situations (e.g. ethnic, religious, tribal conflicts/wars).
  • Covert observation.

If you and your supervisor think your application is high risk, please provide a brief description your research project to so that we may confirm the appropriate process. 

Overseas Research

Research that will take place in another country and will involve human participants from that country may require ethics approval via an appropriate ethics review procedure in that country. A review and assessment of how local approval is obtained is an essential part of the ethics review process. Where such a procedure exists, it may not be necessary for the researcher to seek ethics approval via the University of Sheffield Ethics Review Procedure, providing that the overseas procedure is judged to be sufficiently robust by the UREC.

The following link provides information on which research ethics procedures are recognised by the University as being sufficiently robust so as not to require University Research Ethics review.

Judging the Robustness of Another Institution's Ethics Review Procedure

List of Approved Alternative Institutions

NHS Ethics

If your research involves NHS patients you will require NHS Research Ethics Review (you no longer require NHS ethics review for research involving staff). This is a typically lengthy process and may take up to six months. Details can be found at:

Details of how to obtain a NHS research passport can be found here.

What do you need to do?

EPH Students need to complete the application under the guidance of their placement supervisor. The ethics application must be appropriately filled in with sufficient detail. All supporting documentation must be included such as information sheets, interview questions, invitation letters and consent forms. Information sheet and consent form templates can be found in the downloads box. The application must be written to an appropriate standard of English.

The supervisor will sign off the application once they are satisfied that the forms are appropriately completed. Application forms and supporting documents need to be submitted via the supervisor to the Ethics Administrator on

You do not have ethical approval for your project until you have received an approval letter from 

For further information contact

There are some additional resources under the useful information box which are provided to help you consider some of the ethical and safety issues raised with some common research methods.