The University of Nottingham requires all staff and students who are engaged in research to maintain the highest standards of integrity in the conduct of research. The University’s principles for research ethics are integrated in the Code of Research Conduct and Research Ethics (pdf) and the University's Policy for Ethical Review (pdf).
University policy is for all its research to comply with ESRC guidelines regarding the ethical conduct of research. In particular, research must undergo ethical review and receive approval before work can begin where research involves the participation of human subjects, their data and/or their tissue. This flowchart (pdf) may assist you if you are unsure as to whether your project requires ethical review. If in doubt, please consult the ESRC guidelines
Submitting a research ethics approval form
The Nottingham School of Sociology and Social Policy Research Ethics Committee (NSSP-REC) manages and monitors procedures for obtaining ethical approval for research projects within the School. In order to obtain ethical approval you must complete the Research Ethics Checklist (Word) and submit it, along with any necessary supporting documents, to:
The NSSP-REC Secretary
B20 Law and Social Sciences Building
If in doubt about any of the questions on the form, please consult the ESRC guidelines. Please also consult this further information (Word) document about the signing of ethics forms for example.
There is no deadline for submissions of the ethics approval form. For applications that need to go through a full ethical review, one member (normally the School Research Ethics Officer) of the NSSP-REC will be “lead reviewer”. He or she will consider the proposal in detail and present his/her conclusion to the rest of the committee, which will make a final decision.
What to do if a submission is not approved
Where a decision has gone against a proposal or has required significant revisions to its conduct, the applicant can request that the NSSP-REC reconsiders its decision. If unsuccessful, the applicant can appeal to the University Research Ethics Committee; however, this is expected to occur in only exceptional circumstances.
Complaints or expressions of concern about the unethical conduct of research by NSSP researchers can be directed to the NSSP-REC. The NSSP-REC is responsible for initially responding to any evidence that research is carried out that is either:
not approved by the NSSP-REC or
not conducted in conformity with the proposal approved by the NSSP-REC
A very good overview of all issues related to social science research ethics can be found on the Social Sciences Research Ethics website. More information regarding social media, digital media etc. and ethics (e-ethics) (pdf).
For further information, please contact the School Research Ethics Officer:
Dr Simon Roberts