The University of Nottingham’s Code of Research Conduct and Research Ethics (the Code) provides a comprehensive framework for good research conduct and the governance of all research carried out across the university, including its international campuses.
Universities UK, together with signatories to the concordat, including University of Nottingham, has reaffirmed its pledge to the revised Concordat to Support Research Integrity (the Concordat) to further assure government, business, international partners and the public that they can continue to have confidence in UK research and its world-leading researchers.
The University of Nottingham also has a dedicated Code of Practice on Handling Allegation of Research Misconduct (log-in required). It defines research misconduct activities in line with the Concordat and is in line with UK Research Integrity Office recommendations.
To demonstrate the university’s commitment to the Concordat and the majority of UK and EU research funders (e.g. UKRI, Wellcome Trust, NIHR etc.); the university has identified and made publicly available a first point of contact for anyone wanting more information on matters of research integrity, who will act as confidential liaison for whistle-blowers or any other person wishing to raise concerns about the integrity of research being conducted under the university’s auspices. In addition, the university publishes through this webpage an annual statement on how it is meeting the requirements of the revised Concordat for accountability and assurance on activities undertaken in support of research integrity.
The latest version of the Annual Statement can be found here. The statement provides a summary of activities undertaken across the university to support research integrity, including addressing allegations of misconduct.
As part of University of Nottingham's commitment to the Concordat and research ethics principles, the university has a dedicated Code of Practice for Research Ethics Committees (CoPREC) (log-in required), in addition to guidance on current Research Ethics Review process for Research Projects Involving Non-Human Animals.
Whilst the Code outlines the guiding principles for conducting research, the CoPREC outlines the minimum expectations for the operation of Research Ethics Review Committees and specific guidance on the operation of School, Department or Faculty Research Ethics Review Committees and associated processes, including review criteria. Research Ethics Committees should always be independent in forming their opinions, and these guidelines are designed to ensure alignment of process and governance.
The CoPREC is designed to ensure alignment with the principles and standards of the Declaration of Helsinki: Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects and draws from the joint publication Research Ethics Support and Review in Research Organisations by the UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) and the Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA) to support the research community in achieving high standards of research ethics review. It also builds on the UKRI ESRC framework for research ethics; WHO ethical standards and procedures for research with human beings; and the European Commission Ethics for Researchers.
The aim of ethical review is to ensure that research is conducted safely and appropriately, rather than to limit research activity. All the ethical implications of a research project must be considered, including the impact on:
- all those involved in the research
- those who may be affected by it
- welfare of animals
- cultural sensitivities
- protected species and sites
- and the environment
Researchers must consider their own safety and wellbeing and comply with all relevant university policies and guidance, including Lone Worker Policies.
The route required for ethical review depends on the nature of the research:
This is a committee of Senate that champions the training and embedding of a culture of research integrity and good practice across all areas of the university. It defines the university's research integrity and research ethics policy, establishes the process and procedures for providing oversight of research integrity and ethical review, and monitors best practice of research integrity and research ethics across the university.
It also takes into consideration differences between campuses and international legal frameworks and sets minimum requirements for international research environments.
For more information and contacts please see the Research Ethics and Integrity SharePoint pages (log-in required) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers
The university is proud to have been awarded the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research badge.
The award was first won by the university in 2010 based on our commitment to implement the principles of the 2008 Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. Since this original award the university has successfully renewed the award recognition following a biennial review process, most recently with a successful review in 2020. In 2021, the university confirmed its commitment to the Principles of the Concordat by becoming a signatory to the new 2019 Researcher Development Concordat.
For further information please see our Researcher Academy dedicated page.