Policy on Ethical Review
In the Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology all our research projects, whether conducted by staff or students, are reviewed by an appropriate Research Ethics Committee. Approval has to be granted before these studies can begin.
The division’s Research Ethics Sub-Committee oversees all its student research projects. The Committee can be contacted via its Administrator ( hyperlink to Its review processes are 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 so that their research ideas and proposed research materials undergo careful scrutiny. Ethical review of their proposed projects is designed not only to protect research participants from harm, but also as a learning process for students. Students learn about conducting research honestly and professionally, respecting the dignity of research participants and protecting anonymity where required. They undertake to abide the University of Nottingham’s Code of Research Conduct and Ethics.
The document ‘Guidance for Students and Supervisors’ provided in the ‘quick downloads’ section on this web page outlines the ethical review process, and provides advice and links to useful sources of information.
Also provided are templates for Participant Information and Consent Forms that can be uploaded with an application.
The application form for ethical review of student projects is conducted electronically and is available here. Students complete this from with advice from their supervisor. When the supervisor has conducted an initial ethical review of the student’s research project and is satisfied that the ethical application form has been properly completed, he or she submits it for review electronically. The on-line system will either allow a full application for review by the Division’s’ Research Ethics Sub-Committee, or provide guidance about the correct route.
The Committee will approve projects that, in their view, have been fully described and have dealt adequately with any ethical issues. Those who fail in either respect will be returned for requested changes and resubmission. Proposals that have successfully passed review are allocated a reference number and formal letter of approval.
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.