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Welcome to Northumbria University's research ethics and integrity web pages.

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.

Ethical approval must be obtained for all research projects prior to the commencement of the research.



 With the easing Government restrictions, the process for approval of face-to-face research projects has been simplified:

Where a research project can adopt the control measures outlined within the general teaching risk assessment or the overarching risk assessment for a research area, this may be referenced in the risk assessment for the project. Note that a risk assessment will still be required to address the additional risks from the work. Risk assessments are available here.

Face to face in person research with increased health and safety risks (e.g. lab based testing) must be reviewed by the technical manager’

Projects which must deviate from existing measures will still require specific Covid-19 control measures to be included in the project risk assessment e.g., areas following clinical guidelines from the NHS.

Projects which will specifically recruit participants who are extremely clinically vulnerable will still requires specific consideration of Covid-19 in the risk assessment.

Ethical approval must be obtained for all research projects prior to the commencement of the research.

Online Research Ethics and Governance Approval:

Staff and Postgraduate Research Students can access the User Guide here.

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Students can access the User Guide here

Everyone can access Ethics Online FAQs here.

For System Support:

If you are an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Taught Student, please contact your Supervisor or Module Tutor.

If you are a Postgraduate Research Student, please contact your Supervisor.

If the Supervisor or Module Tutor cannot resolve the issue, they should refer to their Department Ethics Lead.

If you are a member of staff, please contact your Department Ethics Lead or Faculty Ethics Director. 

A support model detailing how to manage issues in the system can be found here (Northumbria staff only)

As set out in our Management of Research Misconduct Policy formal allegations should be made to the Chair of the Research Ethics Committee, Professor Louise Bracken

Northumbria University’s Research Integrity and Ethics Contact: Laura Hutchinson, Research Policy Manager, Research and Innovation Services

General Ethics Support queries, contact

Department Ethics Leads – click here for details (Staff only as on intranet)

Ethics Directors: 

Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences, Research Ethics Director: Professor Mark Blythe

Faculty of Business and Law, Research Ethics Director: Dr Russell Warhurst

Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Research Ethics Director: Dr Ian Forbes

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Research Ethics Director: Professor Nick Neave

The Concordat to support research integrity was revised in October 2019, representing a renewed ambition to further strengthen the original Concordat, published in 2012. It provides the principles and commitments to ensure that research produced by, or in collaboration with, UK universities, research institutes and others undertaking research is underpinned by the highest standards of rigour and integrity.

The new Concordat, released in October 2019, retains the five core commitments of the 2012 version. All those engaged with research must be able to make these commitments:

  • Maintaining the highest standards of research integrity
  • Ensuring that research is conducted according to appropriate
  • Embedding a culture of research integrity
  • Dealing with allegations of research misconduct
  • A commitment to strengthening research integrity

Concordat to support research integrity - October 2019 (pdf)

Northumbria University's contact for matters related to Research Integrity: Rachel Lawlor, Deputy Director, Research and Innovation Services

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 19-20 (pdf) can be viewed here.

All Human Tissue Authority (HTA)-related guidance can be found on the new page: Research which requires External Approvals

For information on IP and Commercialisation and to contact the team at Northumbria please click here

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 Innovation 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:

Student Placement /Student Project Non-Disclosure Agreements

Material Transfer Agreements

Restricted Non-Disclosure Agreement for use as a confidentiality agreement for research transcription services. - For staff use only

Please note that the University’s standard NDA is used on a self-service basis.  Please complete the highlighted sections (restricted access) and then have it signed by both parties.  For Northumbria, the acceptable signatories are the Head of Department,  Faculty Business Manager, deputy Faculty Pro Vice Chancellor or Faculty Pro Vice Chancellor.  Once you have a fully signed agreement please email legal services at, providing details of the transcription services used and for which project, and attach a final executed copy of the agreement to the email.

Confidentiality Agreement Template

 The Research Ethics and Integrity Handbook 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. 

To find out what types of research require approval from outside the University, please visit our new page:Research which requires External Approvals

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