Welcome to Northumbria University's research, ethics and governance web page. This page has been developed to accommodate Northumbria University's policies, practices and guidance around research ethics and in order to promote best practice for the ethical conduct of research.
Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences, Research Ethics Director: Charlotte Bilby
Faculty of Business and Law, Research Ethics Director: Professor Mary Thomson
Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Research Ethics Director: Professor Julie McLeod
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Research Ethics Director: Dr Nick Neave
Northumbria University Research Ethics Contact: Ruth Hattam, Deputy Director (Research). Telephone: 0191 227 4770
General Ethics Support queries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Research Ethics Online Approval System ***New for 2016/17***
Ethical approval must be obtained for all research projects prior to the commencement of the research.
Online Research Ethics and Governance Approval
Northumbria University upholds the highest standards of academic integrity and ethical practise in research. Making sure our research complies with ethical standards is an important part of assuring its quality and our reputation. Staff and students are expected to ensure that their conduct is driven by:
- the ethical imperative of respect;
- the intention to do no harm; and
- the intention to contribute to society’s knowledge and practise through engagement in research that has beneficial intent.
Designed with input from academics and students, led by the Faculty Research Ethics Directors, the new online system will help the University meet national standards of good research practice, as set out in the UKRIO Concordat for Research Integrity.
It is important that staff and students can easily find and access the University’s research ethics and governance information, to ensure the safety of researchers and participants throughout the research process. The new system will enable staff and students to submit their project for ethics approval at any time, from any campus, as well as track their application through the process.
Further news on the rollout of the system will follow.
Ethics in Research Policy Statement
Northumbria University strives to uphold the highest standards of ethical practice in research and academic integrity. Irrespective of the nature and ethical complexity of a research project, staff and students are expected to ensure that their conduct is driven by the ethical imperative of respect, the intent to do no harm and to contribute to society’s knowledge and practice through engagement in research that has beneficent intent.
Northumbria University’s Ethics In Research Policy Statement (pdf) can be viewed here.
Faculty Ethics Intranet pages (Northumbria staff access only)
Insurance (through Northumbria University) in relation to Research and Clinical Trials (Northumbria staff access only)
Medical Research Council - support and guidance for those conducting research with human participants, their tissues and data
Legal Agreements for Research Projects
There are various legal contracts that will need to be in place during the lifetime of a research project. The main ones are funding contracts, collaboration agreements, and contract research contracts.
All contracts relating to research are dealt with by the Legal Services Team within the Vice-Chancellors Department and Research and Business Services will work with Principal Investigators to ensure that Legal Services are instructed in respect to contractual arrangements.
Principal Investigators do not have authority under the University’s Financial Regulations to sign and enter into contracts on behalf of the University, hence ALL contracts must be reviewed by Legal Services and once finalised, Legal Services will arrange for an authorised signatory within the appropriate Faculty to approve and sign off the contract.
From a research governance perspective, specific reference has been given to the following types of contracts and the process for each that must be followed:
This area contains all NHS-related guidance relating to ethical approval for research within the National Health Service.
If you have any queries, please contact email@example.com
The Clinical Trials Toolkit provides practical advice to researchers in designing and conducting publicly funded clinical trials in the UK. Through the use of an interactive routemap, this site provides information on best practice and outlines the current legal and practical requirements for conducting clinical trials.
The Toolkit is primarily focused on Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products (CTIMPs) and the regulatory environment and requirements associated with these. However researchers and R&D staff working on trials in other areas will also find useful information and guidance of relevance to the wider trials environment.
ClinicalTrials.gov is a registry and results database of public and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world. This web-based resource provides patients, their family members, health care professionals, researchers, and the public with easy access to information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies on a wide range of diseases and conditions. Further information can be found here.
If you require a User Account, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Integrated Research Approval System (IRAS)
Integrated Research Approval System (IRAS) is a single system for applying for Health Research Authority (HRA) permissions and approvals for health and social care / community care research in the UK. IRAS enables you to enter information about your project once instead of duplicating information in separate application forms and uses filters to ensure that the data collected and collated is appropriate to the type of study, and consequently the permissions and approvals required.
If you are unsure whether you should complete an IRAS form, please check with your supervisor in the first instance and then your Departmental Ethics Lead.
Before submitting to the IRAS system, please follow Northumbria University’s approval process for IRAS submission; click here for further details. The IRAS Internal Approval Proforma can be found here.
Once internally approved, complete your submission to the NHS Integrated Research Approval System here.
NHS Research Passport
This is a national scheme which allows Northumbria University researchers to access the NHS to undertake research projects without having duplicate pre-engagement checks
Applicable only for those engaged in a research project with the NHS but dependent on the nature of the research undertaken
The responsibility of the researcher to ensure their completed Passport application is forwarded to the NHS Trust where they are carrying out the research activity to be validated.
A research passport should be applied for once a researcher is:
- Named on a grant application; or
- Appointed at interview to undertake NHS specific research; or
- A current member of staff starting a new NHS project.
However, it is always the duty of the researcher to initiate the application.
A standard research passport application form is completed by the Researcher, the Principal Investigator of the research project and by HR
DBS clearance and health clearance are required as part of the process
For advice on the process and/or to progress a Research Passport Application please email email@example.com
For Research Passport Flowchart, click here.
NHS Related Research Links
Policies and Procedures relating to Ethics
Misconduct in Research Policy (accessible to Northumbria staff only)
Research Ethics and Governance Handbook
The Research Ethics and Governance Handbook (pdf) has been developed to contain all of Northumbria University’s policies, practices and guidance around research ethics and to promote best practice for the ethical conduct of research.
The policy applies to those conducting research within, or on behalf of, Northumbria University and includes information on the following areas of research ethics. (Click on the relevant section)
- Research Practice
- Informed Consent
- Adults Lacking Capacity to Consent to Research
- Children in Research
- A Guide to the Human Tissue Act and Use of the Tissue Bank
- Prevent Duty
- Sensitive Research Policy
- Research Ethics Process
- Reporting Adverse Events in Research
- Data Protection
- Secure Storage of Data
- Insurance Cover in Relation to Research
- Legal Agreements
- Guidelines for the Treatment of Intellectual Property
- Health and Safety
- Misconduct in Research Policy and Proceedure
- Research Ethics Audit
- Ethics Guidelines from Professional Bodies and Subject Groups
- Explanation of Terms
Research Ethics Documentation and Guidance
Click on the link to access the appropriate document:
- Consent Form For Tissue Removal Use And Storage
- Form To Amend An Approved Research Ethics Project
- Form To Report An Ethical Incident
- Guidance On Producing An Informed Consent Form
- Guidance On Producing A Participant Information Sheet
- NU Faculty Approval Process For IRAS
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty Ethics Training can be found within the Academic Development and Researcher Training Programme here.