Heads of Department are responsible for research, enterprise and teaching carried out within their Department and for those activities carried out under the supervision of their staff. It is the responsibility of Heads of Department to ensure that all staff are aware of the Ethical Guidelines and of the procedures for obtaining ethical approval.
In the case of students undertaking research, enterprise activities or conducting investigation, it is the responsibility of the Director of Studies or Course Lecturer to ensure that the students are aware of and observe the Ethical Guidelines, and any related Department protocols and procedures. Where the Ethical Guidelines refer to the need for action by the investigator, in the case of students it is the responsibility of the Director of Studies or Course Lecturer to ensure that the action is undertaken.
Heads of Department must ensure that Programme Conveners of all programmes involving student research projects, where the credit attached to the project is less than 50% of the total credits required to obtain the award, ensure that an Undergraduate/ Masters ethics application is submitted to them for review, and (a) approve the topic and design of any project involving work of the kind specifically noted in these guidelines as requiring ethical approval and (b) ensure that completed consent forms are properly obtained before the project begins and included as part of the project when it is submitted for assessment. Where the credit attached to the project is 50% or more of the total credits required to obtain the award a separate Ethics Application must be approved through the standard process.
The role of the Ethics Committee
The Ethics Committee meets three times a year and is responsible for establishing and monitoring Departmental procedures, including undertaking audits in order to ensure that staff and/or students are aware of the ethical issues involved in the work and that the University's Ethical Guidelines are observed. The Ethics Committee will also advise on problematic cases.
The Ethics Committee is a committee of Senate and has responsibility for ensuring that the University meets its obligations and observes best practice in this area. The Ethics Committee follow the Terms of Reference approved by Senate.