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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 

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

Ethics Online - research ethics approval system

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

Online Research Ethics and Governance Approval:

Access the system here Ethics Online

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)

Business Case for an amendment to Ethics Online - to ensure that any future system developments are both cost effective and impact all system users, changes will only be made on receipt of a completed business case which is then approved by all Faculty Research Ethics Directors and Research and Innovation Services. Before completing the business case, you should consider if the proposal is appropriate as a change to the system or better solved by effecting policy/best practice within your department/faculty

**Please note that the Ethics Online System has recently been restored following the cyber incident. Applications are still live in MyForms (the workaround system which was developed) and coordinators and reviewers will still need to process submitted applications in this system**

If your ethics application was approved in MyForms and you need to submit an amendment, you must do this using the Ethics Online System as MyForms is now closed for new submissions/amendments.  In order to do this, you must first create a new application and mark it as externally approved. You then need to download your approval forms from MyForms (under Track Approval Progress) and then attach then to the new submission in the Ethics Online System.  The submission can then be submitted to the Coordinator for 'approval' (this is just a rubber-stamp as the submission has already been approved on MyForms), and once this is completed then the amendment can be created.

Concordat to Support Research Integrity

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

Documentation and Guidance

Click on the link to access the appropriate document:


For guidance relating to the NHS, please refer to the NHS-related Guidance tab below

For further information please contact

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 19-20 (pdf) can be viewed here.

Human Tissue Act related guidance

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

Intellectual Property and Commercialisation

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

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 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

Research Ethics and Integrity Handbook

 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. 

Research which requires External Approvals

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

Training Resources

The University offers the following training resources in Ethics and Governance:

Core Academic Staff

All core academic staff must complete the mandatory Ethics Training module (incorporating Ethics Reviewer training from January 2020) every three years.

The training course is available on the e-Learning Gateway on the Staff Portal.

Non-Core Academic Staff and other staff types including Associate Lecturers, Collaborative Ventures Staff, Technicians, Demonstrators etc.

If your role requires you to be involved in the ethical approval process but you do not have access to the ethics training module on the e-Learning Gateway, you can access the training content on Blackboard via the Researcher Development at Northumbria organisation site. Click here to access Blackboard and click here for How to Navigate to the Researcher Development Blackboard Site.

Postgraduate Research Students

All postgraduate research students must complete Ethics Training before they commence their research.Students can access the training on Blackboard via the Researcher Development at Northumbria organisation site. Click here to access Blackboard and click here for How to Navigate to the Researcher Development Blackboard Site.

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