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How to apply for ethics approval

To apply for ethics approval Researchers (staff or student) complete an Online Ethics Checklist.  Login using your University credentials and click on ‘Create’ to begin.

A document on ‘what to expect when completing an Online Ethics Checklist’ is available to download.

Don’t forget if your research involves human participants:

  • Attach a copy of the Participant Information Sheet, Participant Agreement Form, Debrief Information Sheet (if required).  Templates are available – see section https://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/templates-pi-sheet-and-agreement-form/
  • If you are distributing a questionnaire/online survey, attach a copy of the questionnaire or provide a link if online (or sample of questions).  There is an Information Sheet template available which you can download and adapt to accompany the questionnaire/survey. (See link above).
  • If you are conducting interviews/focus groups, attach a copy of the interview/focus group schedule and interview questions (or sample of questions).
  • Recruitment – please attach a copy of correspondence you intend to distribute e.g. poster, recruitment email etc.

WHAT IS THE ETHICAL REVIEW AND APPROVAL PROCESS?

The ethical review and approval process varies depending on the researcher’s status (undergraduate, postgraduate taught student, Postgraduate research student [pgr], staff) as well as the level of risk indicated.


The Process of Review for STUDENTS (undergraduate and postgraduate taught)

  • Research Ethics Frequently Asked Questions
  • Guidance (students) on how to create and complete an online ethics checklist can be found here.
  • All Research ethics checklists are initially reviewed by the named Supervisor who should send the checklist back if questions have not been answered correctly or for missing paperwork (e.g. participant information sheet, participant agreement form or questionnaire). When the Supervisor is satisfied that the checklist is complete, they will:
    • approve ‘Low risk’ projects
    • forward ‘High risk’ projects to designated Ethics Programme Team.  Checklists are approved by an appropriate Ethics Programme Team; Teams can send the checklist back for amendments if a review considers questions have been been addressed adequately.
  • The system identifies risk by the responses to the questions raised in the checklist and completed by the student.

The Process of Review – Postgraduate Researchers (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DProf, EngD, EdD)

  • Research Ethics Frequently Asked Questions
  • Guidance for PGRS on how to create and complete an online ethics checklist can be found here.
  • All Research ethics checklists are initially reviewed by the named Supervisor who should send the checklist back if questions have not been answered correctly or fro missing paperwork (e.g. participant information sheet, participant agreement form or questionnaire). When the Supervisor is satisfied that the checklist is complete, they will forward the checklist onto an appropriate Approver:
    • ‘Low risk’ projects are approved by a Department Ethics Champion.
    • ‘High risk’ projects are approved by an appropriate Research Ethics Panel.
  • PGRs will be invited to attend Panel (accompanied by a member of the Supervisory Team).  If a member of the Supervisory Team cannot be present, then the application will be deferred until the next Panel meeting.  This should be factored in when planning research activities.
    • PGR will answer questions about the ethics checklist and be expected to demonstrate an awareness and engagement with research ethics principles.  Attendance allows for clarification on points of uncertainty and so helps shorten the review process.
    • See REP meeting dates.
  • The system identifies risk by the responses to the questions raised in the checklist and completed by the student.

The Process of Review – Staff

  • Research Ethics Frequently Asked Questions
  • Guidance for Staff on how to create and complete an online ethics checklist can be found here.
  • ‘Low risk’ projects are reviewed  by a member of an appropriate Research Ethics Panel by email.
  • ‘High risk’ projects are approved by an appropriate Research Ethics Panel (REP).
    • The named Researcher will be invited to attend Panel to answer questions about the ethics checklist and be expected to demonstrate an awareness and engagement with research ethics principles.  Attendance allows for clarification on points of uncertainty and so helps shorten the review process.
    • REP meeting dates.
  • The system identifies risk by the responses to the questions raised in the checklist and completed by the Researcher.

Please note: If you are a member of staff registered on a part-time PhD and you are seeking approval for research in relation to your PhD, please complete the checklist as a Postgraduate Researcher and not Staff.  The review and approval process for postgraduate research will apply.