Research and knowledge exchange

Research Governance and Integrity

The University of Sussex is committed to promoting and upholding the highest quality academic and ethical standards in all its activities.

The University has developed research governance and ethics policies and procedures which recognise the importance of addressing ethical matters, while supporting the achievement of its collective research objectives.

To this end, robust research governance procedures and policies underpin all research at the University.

All University Researchers are expected to understand and follow the Code of Practice for Research. Failure to abide by its principles may see action taken in accordance with the Procedure for the Investigation of Allegations of Misconduct in Research.

The University is a signatory to the Universities UK Concordat to Support Research Integrity.

The University has a set of Research Governance Standard Operating Procedures to assist researchers, Cross School Research Ethics Committee members, School Research Ethics Officers and any professional service staff who support research.

The University has  a Research Governance Committee Framework [PDF 113.22KB], to ensure that ethical review procedures take into account:

  • best practice with regard to ethical considerations in research
  • meeting all legislative, regulatory, and funder requirements
  • safeguarding the reputation of the University

There are different pathways for ethical review of research, depending on whether the project is low or higher risk.


Ethical review of low risk projects at the University is carried out at two levels:

- Undergraduate (UG) and Postgraduate Taught (PGT) student projects are reviewed at School level

- Staff and Postgraduate Research (PGR) student projects are reviewed by one of the Cross-Schools Research Ethics Committees (C-RECs) 


- All Staff and student (UG, PGT, PGR) higher risk projects are reviewed by a C-REC.

There is also a specialised committee, the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Board (AWERB) that considers any research which involves non-human animal subjects.

Ethical review within Schools and committees is overseen by the University Research Governance Committee (URGC), which is responsible for broader policy decisions relating to research governance and ethics. The URGC also regularly reviews policies relating to the ethics of research to ensure that they are comprehensive, accessible, relevant and up-to-date.

University policies relating to Research Governance are to be found on the Research Policies page.