Getting approval for your project

Anyone seeking ethical approval for a project which brings them into contact with other people must complete two copies of the relevant form as specified below.

Where the person to whom the forms are first submitted feels unable to approve the project as described in the form the matter will be referred as appropriate either to the Department’s representative on the Ethics Committee, to the full School Ethics Committee and/or to the University’s Ethics Committee if need be.

When and if approval is finally given one copy of the form will be returned to the student/staff member who submitted it and the other will be held centrally by the School’s Research Advisor, Alison Lockhart (located in Room A203, Govan Mbeki Building), to whom the person countersigning the form will send the second copy.

In some cases a risk assessment may be required. If this is the case, please use the Risk Assessment form.

Completion and submission of forms

All forms should be completed electronically, and two signed copies submitted for countersigning. In complex cases it may be worth while submitting the electronic version for checking in the first instance so that any issues can be dealt with at that stage, prior to printing the final version.

Ethical Consent Forms

Undergraduate programme Levels 1 to 3

Students at Levels 1 to 3 undertaking projects which bring them into contact with other people must complete two copies of Form GSBS-EC5 and submit them in the first instance to their project supervisor (e.g. Module Leader, Seminar Tutor) for approval.

Undergraduate Level 4 (Honours) dissertations and dissertations at taught Masters level

All students undertaking such dissertations must complete two copies of Form GSBS-EC5, even in cases where ethical issues are unlikely to arise, and submit them to their supervisor for countersigning. Where no contact with other people is foreseen, only the first page of the form need be completed.

MPhil and PhD theses

Ethical issues relating to MPhil and PhD theses are dealt with initially at the Registration stage, through completion of Section 3.3 of document RDC1. Should further ethical approval be subsequently required (due, for example, to a change in the research process) the student should complete two copies of Form EC1and submit them to his/her departmental representative on the Ethics Committee. Guidance for completing Form EC1 can be found in the EC1 Guidance document.

 

Staff

Staff undertaking research projects which will bring them into contact with others must complete two copies of Form EC1 and submit them to their departmental representative on the Ethics Committee for approval. Guidance for completing Form EC1 can be found in the EC1 Guidance‌ document.

Joint publications involving staff and students

Joint publications involving staff and students can raise sensitive issues and require signed agreement by both parties. Please consult the Joint Publications document for further guidance on this matter. A Staff-Student Collaboration Form must be completed and submitted in all such cases.

Projects funded by outside bodies

Applications for funding from outside bodies (e.g Research Councils, charitable foundations) often require a statement regarding the University’s ethical procedures.  The following will usually suffice:

Glasgow Caledonian University has an established Code of Good Practice in Research which builds on quality protocols of a range of Research Councils such as the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council and the British Sociological Association. This governs the research process and also acts as a mechanism for the discipline of staff if necessary. In addition, the Glasgow School for Business and Society has an Ethics Committee to advise, facilitate and promote ethical awareness within the School for research staff and student project supervisors.

A full copy of the University Code (Word doc) is available on the HR Policy page. Please contact us with any further questions.

Data Protection Legislation

If your project involves the collection and use of personal information you will need to address the requirements of Data Protection legislation including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. In summary this means that you should:

  • Keep personal information securely on your University One Drive or other secure storage including encrypted USB keys.
  • Keep the information confidential, ensuring that data is not be disclosed to other parties without the consent of the individual to whom it relates. There can be exceptions to this including legislative requirements.
  • Ensure that participants are provided with information about how their data will be used in an easily understood way so that they can agree to take part.
  • Ensure that the information being collected is only used for your project.
  • Consider the personal data that you require for your project so that it is limited to what you really need, is adequate for your project and is relevant.
  • Take steps to ensure that the information is accurate and, where relevant, keep it up to date.
  • Keep the information only for as long as it’s needed for your project.
  • Not transfer it outside the EU unless it is protected.
  • You should be aware that individuals have rights relating to their data including rights to access data, to have data amended and rights for data to be erased. Further information is available on the Information Commissioner’s website: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/individual-rights/ Information for GCU Staff is available at: https://www.connected.gcu.ac.uk/sites/InformationMatters/DataProtectionPrivacy
Working with SurveyMonkey™

If you are using the SurveyMonkey software for online questionnaires and wish to guarantee respondents absolute anonymity, you must follow the procedures in the Survey Monkey document.