University Ethics Review

The University has internal protocols for the review and approval of research involving human participants. These protocols are based on the principles set out in the Code of Practice for Research Ethics and apply to all research involving human participants undertaken under the University's auspices. Researchers are encouraged to consult the Code of Practice before applying for ethical approval.

The following guidance is applicable to University staff and students. Applications must be submitted using the current Online Ethical Approval Form (until this is replaced by the new online system on 5th May 2015).

Staff and students in the School of Psychology should review the School's guidance on the application procedure before applying for ethical approval of research.

Apply for Ethical Approval

Staff and students/postgraduates applying for ethical approval of research involving human participants should follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the current Online Ethical Approval Form using your University username prefixed by 'uol\' (e.g. "uol\abc123") and your password.
  2. Complete the application and submit this to your Departmental Ethics Officer (staff) or academic supervisor (students/postgraduates). Please remember:
    • applications must be submitted in good time before the planned start of the research and research cannot commence until approval has been given
    • you must contact your Departmental Ethics Officer/academic supervisor for advice first if you have not previously used the online form
  3. Your Departmental Ethics Officer/academic supervisor will undertake initial scrutiny of your application - applications may be approved by the Departmental Ethics Officer/academic supervisor directly where:
    • there are no ethical issues arising from the proposed research; or
    • the proposed research does not involve more than minimal risk.
  4. Where the application is approved by the Departmental Ethics Officer/academic supervisor, they should notify the applicant of the decision as well as any conditions attached to the approval
  5. Where the proposed research involves more than minimal risk, the application should be referred for further consideration and determination:
    • applications from staff should be referred by the Departmental Ethics Officer to the College Research Ethics Committee (with possible further referral to the University Research Ethics Committee in exceptional cases)
    • applications from undergraduate or postgraduate students should be referred by the academic supervisor to the Departmental Ethics Officer, with possible further referral to the College Research Ethics Committee and, in exceptional cases, the University Research Ethics Committee.

Additional Guidance

University staff and students/postgraduates wanting to know more about issues to consider when planning a research project and ways in which ethical concerns can be addressed, are encouraged to consult the additional research ethics guidance.

For further advice, please contact your Departmental Ethics Officer (staff) or academic supervisor (students). You may also want to consult some of the available external links and resources.

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