School of Sociology and Social Policy

PGR/Staff Ethics Application Process Guidance

students meeting

Researchers are responsible for ensuring that their research is conducted to the highest ethical standards. Researchers must ensure that they are fully aware of, and comply with, the university's expectations for the ethical conduct of research and the ethical requirements of research funders, professional bodies and/or the expectations of their research discipline.  Please follow the core principles, and the steps below regarding the application process.


Core key principles for ethical review

  1. Maximising Benefit 
  2. Minimising Harm
  3. Respecting Autonomy
  4. Fairness and Accountability 
  5. Integrity and Transparency

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

Apply for favourable ethical opinion 

For favourable ethical opinion (FEO), please apply to the School of Sociology and Social Policy (SSP) Research Ethics and Integrity Committee (REIC) following the steps below.

For External Applicants: The School of Sociology and Social Policy (SSP) Research Ethics and Integrity Committee will consider applications from staff and PGR students based elsewhere in the University of Nottingham where the proposed research falls within our disciplinary areas of expertise. To help us determine whether we are the most appropriate REIC to provide ethical scrutiny of your project, please contact the SSP ethics team in advance of your application so that we can discuss your research plans with you.

Step One: Does my research need ethical review?

Step Two: Submit your research ethics application to the REIC

Submit your research ethics form

Step three: What happens next?

  • You must wait until you receive favourable ethics opinion (FEO) from the Research Ethics and Integrity Committee before approaching potential participants and before commencing your fieldwork
  • Your application will be reviewed by an academic member of the SSP REIC. During this process we may ask you to provide further information about your research plans
  • The REIC aim to make a first decision within 3 to 4 weeks of your application being submitted

Off-campus fieldwork

In addition to the steps above, you should also follow the school guidance on planning and preparing for off-campus and overseas trips.

Amendments to existing projects

If you are considering making changes to your approved project, the Ethics Committee must be informed of the proposed changes before they are implemented. Please contact the SSP Research Ethics Team  for further information.

Access the Research Ethics and Integrity Sharepoint


School of Sociology and Social Policy

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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