- Research Ethics Code of Practice
- Code of Good Research Practice
- Online Ethics Checklist – Section 3 questions (This useful guide provides an overview of the questions the checklist will prompt you to answer).
- What constitutes high risk? See:
- How to complete the online ethics checklist – students (ug/pgt)
- How to complete the online ethics checklist – postgraduate researchers
- How to complete the online ethics checklist – staff
- How to prepare your participant information sheet – see templates below
Research activities such as data collection should not commence before the online ethics checklist (including participant information/agreement forms if relevant) has been approved.
The online ethics checklist now has 4 sections which you should complete:
Section 1 – Researcher/Project Details
Section 2 – Filter Questions
Section 3 – My Research
Section 4 – Attachments/Researcher Statement
Within the checklist itself you will find a number of help guides which you can open as you work your way through each section to complete the checklist.
Amendments – requests for amendments should now be made online via the online ethics checklist. Please refer to the guides ‘how to complete the online ethics checklist’ (links above) for details.
Online Ethics Checklist – Section 1: Project Details:
The summary should be no more than 500 words (include details on background methodology and research outputs). This summary must be written in everyday language which is free from jargon. Please explain any technical terms or discipline-specific phrases.
Address all the questions highlighted by the checklist. Where additional text boxes have been provided you should provide consise answers; no more than 250 characters (including spaces). Do not attach a copy of your research protocol or research proposal in place of answering the questions.
Data Collection Activities: Points to remember
If you’re intending to conduct interviews/focus groups (any other face to face activities with participants), please make sure you attach a Participant Information Sheet (PI Sheet) and Participant Agreement Form (PAF), any recruitment adverts, interview protocol, observation schedules or debrief information sheets to your checklist. If you’re conducting a survey, attach a copy of the questions.
- PI Sheet/PAF templates are available (see templates section), so please make sure you download an up to date version every time you submit a checklist for a new project. If you’re seeking an Amendment, you may need to consider whether a revised PI Sheet/PAF is required.
Gatekeepers. If you need to use a gatekeeper to access participants, please confirm who the Gatekeeper is and their involvement. The Researcher should obtain a written agreement from the Gatekeeper, which clarifies their role & responsibilities and that they support the research. Confirmation needs to be agreed before data collection commences.
Referral Services. If it is explicit in your participant information that you intend to refer participants to third party referral services e.g. the Samaritans, the third party referral service should be informed of the planned research activity before the data collection starts; this is both courteous and professional. Confirmation that this will be done should be made clear within the summary boxes when completing the checklist.
When conducting survey/questionnaires the questionnaire should include a short version of the PI Sheet (preamble) and include brief details about the research you are conducting. We’ve provided subheadings as a guide and additional text which should be included (in blue) as detailed in the Information template.
Other Useful Documents
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Guidance
- Research Ethics Supplementary Guide For Reference by Researchers Undertaking Journalism and Media Production Projects
- Research Data Management
External resources – Things to consider
- The Research Ethics Guidebook – a guide for social scientists
- MRC – Managing risks of research misuse
- Ethics Guidelines for Internet-mediated Research
- Ethics Guidelines for Research with Children and Young People
- UKRI GDPR and Research – An overview for Researchers – Compiled with the support of the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UKRI have provdied a GDPR overview for researchers
- If planning research overseas, you should determine whether ethical approval is required in the country you are visiting. The International Compilation of Human Research standards, provided by the US Office for Human Research Protections is a useful reference document which details of Research Ethics Committees in over 100 countries (they focus on research involving humans). If a local ethics committee does not exist, advice/approval from the organisation or community where the research will be conducted should be sought.
- The Human Tissue Act 2004 – Summary of Consent and Licensing Provisions for Research