Read our guidelines on the subject of research governance and ethics
Why is ethical approval required?
It is required to not only conform to our legal obligations but to the following underlying principles:
  • Autonomy – participants are fully informed in order to freely consent
  • Beneficence – research must have value
  • Non-Maleficence – 'do no harm'
  • Justice - fair conduct, respecting everyone's human rights
What are our legal obligations when conducting research?
We need to adhere to the following laws:
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000
Which LSBU Ethics Panel do I need to apply to?
Apply to the University Ethics Panel (UEP) for MRes, MPhil, PhD, Professional Doctorate and staff research that falls within the following categories:
  • NHS sponsored
  • Addresses: terrorism and radicalisation; administration of substances altered at LSBU
  • Requires additional insurance cover over and above the University standard
  • Involves human tissue in any form
Also apply to the UEP as an external researcher wishing to involve LSBU staff and/or students. Apply to the School Ethics Panel for Undergraduate research and taught Masters dissertation studies and, with the exception of applications falling into the categories outlined above, research by MRes, MPhil, PhD and Professional Doctorate students and members of staff.
What if I already have or need external Research Ethics approval?
If your study will involve National Health Service (NHS) patients – then you will need to first seek approval from a NHS Research Ethics Committee. Further information can be obtained from: Health Research Authority.
If your potential participants will be individuals incapable of giving consent then you will need to seek approval from the appropriate ethical body.
If you are a doctoral student doing a social care study, then the UEP is able to review your application. However, if you are staff then you need to consider whether you need to go through the National Social Care Research Ethics Committee.
UEP, after review, generally upholds the decision of another REC, but reserves the right to withhold approval due to local issues.
Who can I go to for advice before I apply?
If you are an undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral student, you should first seek advice from your supervisor who should know the requirements for your degree programme.
If you are a member of staff, then you can seek advice from the Chair of your School's Ethics Panel or the Chair of the UEP.
What are the risks if there is a breach of the Code of Practice for Research Involving Human Participants?
Any breach of the Code could:
  • Prejudice insurance cover
  • Prejudice funding
  • Expose the university to unnecessary liability
  • Be a criminal offence under the Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2006
  • Mean that data collection may not be allowed to be used
  • Constitute academic misconduct.
What if I have already started my study before I realised I needed Ethical Approval?
We have a policy that we do not retrospectively approve research. If you should find yourself in this position, please contact the Chair of the relevant Ethics Panel who should have been reviewing your application before you started. They will be able to advise on how best to proceed to bring your work into alignment with the University's ethical processes.

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