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Research Ethics Committees

RGAEC Ethical Scrutiny Framework

The University has introduced a comprehensive ethical scrutiny process to ensure that all research involving participants, their data and/or tissue, addresses relevant ethical considerations and is subject to appropriate ethical review. RGAEC and its sub-committees will ensure appropriate ethical review of research and continue to develop policies and guidance to facilitate the protection of the University’s research participants.

Why is Ethics Committee Approval Needed?

Ethical Committee approval is required to safeguard researchers conducting the study and also protects the rights, safety, dignity and well-being of research participants. Obtaining ethical approval also facilitates and promotes ethical research that is of potential benefit to participants, science and society. By obtaining ethical approval from an impartial committee and having in place robust systems for the review of studies the University can ensure that the research conducted is of high ethical standard, sound integrity and in accordance with good research governance and legal requirements.

If you are unsure if you need Ethical approval, and which ethics committee is applicable please go to the Ethical Review Decision Making Tool.

What does a Research Ethics Committee look for in an application?

  • Scientific Merit
  • Competency
  • Social value
  • Risks and benefits
  • Harm: Likelihood of occurrence and severity
  • Informed Consent
  • Confidentiality
  • Conflict of interest
  • Honest reporting of results

If you already know which Research Ethics Committee you need to apply to then please follow the appropriate link below:

National Health Sevice Research Ethics Committee NHS REC

Biomedical and Scientific Research Ethics Sub Committee (BSREC)

Humanities and Social Science Research Ethics Sub Committee (HSSREC)

Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB), (formerly Biological Research Ethics Sub Committee)

Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee (MODREC)

Social Care Research Ethics Committee (SCREC)


If your project already has ethical approval, governance arrangements don’t stop there.

See the Continued Project Governance page for continued responsibilities.