Policy on Ethical Review
In the Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology all our research projects are reviewed by an appropriate Research Ethics Committee. Approval has to be granted before these studies can begin.
The Division of Psychiatry & Applied Psychology’s Research Ethics Sub-Committee oversees all its student research projects. This process is authorised and overseen by the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences’ Research Ethics Committee.
Ethical Review of Student Research Projects
Step 1 - Discuss
All students discuss their proposed research project with their supervisor to find out the most appropriate route for ethical review.
There are several routes to obtaining ethical review and approval. Studies involving National Health Service (NHS) or National Offender Management Service (NOMS) staff, facilities, premises or data are managed by The University of Nottingham Sponsor Team. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org giving an outline of your proposed study and they will send you the correct information and links to forms that you need to complete and advise on which Research Ethics Committee should review it.
In the first instance their research ideas and proposed research materials undergo careful scrutiny by their supervisor. Some projects, for example that use existing anonymised records or data already in the public domain, may not require full review.
Ethical review is designed not only to protect our research participants from harm, but also as a learning process for students. For example, students learn about conducting research honestly and professionally, respecting the dignity and worth of research participants and now to protect their anonymity where required. They undertake to abide the University’s Code of Research Conduct and Ethics, and the Good practice for conducting research abroad (if relevant).
Step 2 - Submitting an application
The application form for ethical review of student projects and a set of Guidance Notes on how to complete that form are available here:
The Guidance Notes outline the details of the ethical review process and schedules, and provide links to other useful sources of information. In addition, we provide students with templates that they can adapt:
These forms will be regularly updated and new information added to this webpage. When ready to undertake their project, students are advised to download forms directly from this webpage, as they will always represent the most up-to-date versions. We aim in the future to include examples of completed forms that have successfully passed ethical review for students to use as models.
Step 3 - The review process
When the supervisor has conducted an initial review of the student’s research project, and is satisfied that that the student has been advised how to avoid or deal with likely risks, and that the ethical review form has been properly completed, he or she authorises and submits it to the division’s Research Ethics Sub-Committee for second-level review.
The committee will only approve projects that, in their view, have dealt adequately with any ethical issues. Those who fail to do so will be returned for amendments. Proposals that have successfully passed review will be allocated a reference number and a formal letter of approval will be provided. However, even once ethical approval has been granted, students are advised to be constantly alert for potential ethical issues during their studies and undertake to discuss any emerging problems with their supervisors.