University Of Cumbria Ethics

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University Of Cumbria Ethics

  1. This policy is available on the University of Cumbria website and it should be noted that any printed copies are uncontrolled and cannot be guaranteed to constitute the current version of the policy.
Policy title Research Ethics Policy
Policy owner Research Office
Policy lead contact Director of Research & Head of the Graduate School
Approving body Research & Enterprise Committee
Date of approval January 2016
Date of implementation January 2016
Version no. V1.2
Related Guidelines, Procedures, Codes of Practice etc. 1.   Code of Practice for Research

2.   Lone Worker Procedures for Researchers

3.   Collaborative Working in Research:

Brief Guide

Review interval Annual


  1. This ethics policy reflects the principles set out in the University’s Code of Practice for Research, which directly supports the Research Strategy. The code of practice demonstrates our commitment to the Concordat to Support Research Integrity (UUK, 2012), which seeks to provide a comprehensive national framework for good research conduct and its governance. The ethics policy sets out in detail the requirements for ethical review for all research activity at the University of Cumbria. The policy must be read in conjunction with the Code of Practice for Research. In particular, the University’s processes for dealing with misconduct in research are set out in the Code of Practice for Research.
  2. Research integrity and good conduct are a crucial aspect of research at the University and a core part of a sustainable research culture. The University of Cumbria is fully committed to ensuring the good conduct of all research undertaken by its staff and students, and through its engagement with external research collaborators and stakeholders. High standards and integrity are of central importance to our commitment to research, and it is the responsibility of all members of staff engaged in research activity (hereinafter referred to as ‘researchers’) to maintain professional standards.
  3. Researchers in the University are duty bound to society, their profession, the University and the funders of their research to accept responsibility for their own research conduct and practice, the activities of staff and students researching under their supervision, and for making best efforts to provide value for public or private funds invested in their research.


Scope of this Policy


  1. Ethical approval is required for all research carried out by staff and students at the University of Cumbria. It is the responsibility of the research supervisor (at both undergraduate & postgraduate level) to ensure that research complies this University ethics policy and other relevant guidance.
  2. This policy is applicable to:
    1. Academic, research, and relevant support staff employed by the University, and other individuals carrying out research at, or on behalf of, the University
    2. Students undertaking research and their supervisors
    3. Individuals holding honorary titles who are conducting research within, or on behalf of, the University
  3. Concerning honorary titleholders or other researchers undertaking activity in collaboration with the university, ethical consideration should be managed in accordance with this policy or the equivalent at another institution where applicable.


When to request Ethics review


  1. Research projects involving human participants, or data that could potentially identify human subjects, must undergo Ethics review. The relevant application form as indicated below must be completed.
  2. Ethics review is generally not necessary for projects that do not involve human or living animal subjects or handle sensitive materials, and for those that draw on documentary material already in the public domain. For example, published biographies, newspaper accounts of an individual’s activities, published minutes of a meeting, interviews broadcast on radio or television or online and diaries or letters in the public domain, or historical records authorised for public access by record offices.


Ethics Panel: Roles and Responsibilities


  1. The University Ethics Panel is a sub-committee of the Research and Enterprise Committee (REC), which implements policies and procedures for undertaking research. The Ethics Panel is responsible for ensuring that proposed research submitted for consideration meets the required ethics standards, and that feedback to applicants will support development of the understanding of ethical and good research conduct precepts.
  2. The Ethics Panel is primarily concerned with staff and postgraduate student research, and is tasked with ensuring that the dignity, rights and welfare of research participants are protected. The Ethics Panel will also keep under review relevant University policies and guidance and will report its actions to the Research and Enterprise Committee.
  3. Proposals requiring health service or social care ethical review and clearance should follow the most recent guidance provided by the Health Research Authority (HRA) with regard to submission to the relevant NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC), through the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS). IRAS is a single online system for applying for permissions and approvals for health and social care/community research in the UK. NHS RECs review research taking place in or through the NHS, and other health and social care research as required by law or policy.
  4. The University’s Ethics Panel will scrutinise the ethical issues raised by research proposals from research students and staff involving research with humans and non-humans in accordance with this policy and with specific reference to the University of Cumbria’s: