Standard Assessment Process
The Ethics Application and accompanying documents should be sent by email, if possible two months before the project is due to start, to Jan Harrison (Ethics Officer) in the Research Office, who will log the application and upload the documentation onto the portal with a reference number for assessment by the Department via the Departmental Ethics Representative.
The Department should consider the application against the University's Ethics Guidelines and liaise with the applicant to make any amendments. The Ethics Response Sheet should be used when asking for amendments. The Departmental Ethics Representative should then complete the Ethics Approval Form to:
- approve the application,
- approve the application subject to conditions,
- ask the applicant to make substantial revisions and resubmit the application, or
- refer the application to the Ethics Committee if there are particular reasons why the Department cannot reach a conclusion.
The responsibility for consideration of ethical issues is devolved to the Department. The Department must record the process by which ethical issues are considered on a case-by-case basis. The Head of Department should sign the Ethics Approval Form to confirm that the application has been assessed at Departmental level. The Ethics Approval Form asks the Head of Department to confirm that the department:
- approves the Ethics Application
- approves the Participant Consent Form and any other information for participants
- confirms that a Health & Safety risk assessment form and compliance declaration have been fully completed
- confirms that the project has insurance cover
- confirms that appropriate facilities are available within the Department for the applicant to complete the project
Once the Ethics Application has been assessed by the Department the Ethics Approval Form should be sent to the Ethics Officer, who will complete a final check of the documentation to ensure compliance with procedures and consistency across the University. If further major conditions are identified a second ethics approval form will need to be signed by the Head of Department and the Departmental Ethics Representative should liaise with the applicant to address these. If minor conditions are identified then an approval form is not required.
Outcome to the applicant
The Ethics Officer will inform the applicant of the outcome via email. If the applicant has been asked to respond to conditions a response within two weeks will be requested. The Ethics Response Sheet should be used when sending revised documents in response to any conditions set. Responses from the applicant to the conditions will be checked by the Departmental Ethics Representative: no response is required to minor conditions as it is assumed that the applicant will address these.
Final email confirmation will be sent to the applicant by the Ethics Officer confirming the date of final approval and any outstanding/minor conditions.
Assessment Process for Transfer Staff/ Students, Collaborative Research & NHS Applications
Assessment Process for Students & Staff transferring from another Institution
If the student or member of staff has not already received ethical approval for any part of their research at their previous institution they will need to follow the University's standard ethics process as set out above.
If a student or member of staff has already received ethical approval at their previous institution then they should send copies of their previous ethics application, and associated documentation and confirmation of ethical approval to the Ethics Officer. If the research will be published or conducted whilst at Roehampton University the Department will be asked to consider whether the approval documents from the previous university are sufficient. If the Department is satisfied with the existing ethics approval they will inform the Ethics Officer who will record this centrally and advise the applicant of UOR ethics approval. . A research student or member of staff will not normally be asked to complete the Roehampton University Ethics Application Form if they already have ethical approval from another university, unless the Department deems this to be necessary. However, they must complete a Roehampton risk assessment and compliance declaration.
Assessment Process for Collaborative Research
If a student or member of staff has received ethical approval at the host institution then it is not usually necessary for a Roehampton University Ethics Application Form to be completed. A copy of the external ethics application, associated documentation and confirmation of ethical approval should be sent to the Ethics Officer. The Department will be asked to consider whether the approval documents from the host institution are sufficient. If the Department is satisfied with the existing ethics approval they will inform the Ethics Officer who will record this centrally and advise the applicant of UoR ethics approval. Please note that the applicant may be asked for additional information if the information provided is not considered to be sufficient. They must complete a Roehampton risk assessment and compliance declaration. The Roehampton University logo should be used on public facing documentation where possible, providing these documents have been approved by the University through the above process. Please see 4.3 Ethical Approval from Collaborating Organisations for further information.
Assessment Process for applicants submitting NHS Ethics Applications
Please note that NHS applications will be accepted in place of the standard Roehampton University Ethics Application Form. The NHS application form and accompanying documents should be sent to the Ethics Officer and will be processed in the same way as a standard university ethics application. A Roehampton risk assessment and compliance declaration are also required. NHS applications for Postgraduate Taught Students should also be sent to the Ethics Officer. Please see 4.3 Ethical Approval from Collaborating Organisations for further information.