What ethical approvals do I need?

Undergraduate and postgraduate students should discuss the ethical issues of their project with their supervisors and decide what ethical approval will be necessary before submitting the ethics application and/or commencing the study.

All staff and students who intend to undertake a project involving work with human participants must secure ethical approval from one of the School of Health and Life Sciences ethics committees before seeking approval from any external committee (for example, NHS) or commencing the project.

Any research involving NHS patients, employees, data, or resources will require completion on an IRAS form https://www.myresearchproject.org.uk/Signin.aspx and possibly approval by one of the NHS Research Ethics Committees. This process can take up to 60 days before a decision is made, so it is important to allow adequate time and prepare properly. Guidance on submitting an IRAS for is available and the website has an e-learning course available.

Please use the following resources to help you decide whether NHS approval will be necessary:

What approvals do I need? https://www.hra.nhs.uk/approvals-amendments/what-approvals-do-i-need/

Is my study research? http://www.hra-decisiontools.org.uk/research/

Do I need REC approval? http://www.hra-decisiontools.org.uk/ethics

Step-by-step guide for students seeking ethical approval [link to step-by-step guide]

If your study is using NHS employees or data from NHS sources, although you may not need NHS ethics approval, you may still need R&D and/or Caldicott approval. Contact one of the departmental chairs of the ethics committee for some further advice.