Research and knowledge exchange

Does your research require ethical review? A self-assessment checklist


Printable version (Word)

1.a Will the research project involve human participants, with or without their knowledge or consent at the time? (This includes yourself if you are the main subject of the research).


b. Will the research project involve animals?


2. Is the research project likely to expose any person, whether or not a participant, to physical or psychological harm?


3. Will you have access to personal information and/or data that allows you to identify individuals or confidential corporate or company information?


4. Does the research project present a significant risk to the environment or society?


5. Are there any ethical issues raised by this research project that require further ethical review?


Should the intended participants be NHS patients (including human tissue or data), NHS staff or facilities then it is likely that University sponsorship and external HRA/ NHS Research Ethics Committee review will be required.

If you answered 'yes' to any of the above questions, then some form of ethical review will be necessary.


NOTE: RESEARCH MUST NOT COMMENCE BEFORE ETHICAL APPROVAL HAS BEEN GRANTED (A certificate will be provided as evidence of this)

NEXT:  How to apply for ethical review

If you are uncertain whether your project requires ethical review, please discuss with your Supervisor (if you are a student), your School Research Ethics Officer (SREO), or contact the Research Governance Office:


Online Researcher Training - Research Integrity and Ethics

The University has a subscription to Epigeum online training specific to 

  • Arts & Humanities

  • Biomedical Sciences

  • Engineering

  • Natural Sciences

  • Social Sciences

                                              ... all accessible via Study Direct .

Email if you cannot access these resources.

See the Research Ethics Review Flowchart [PDF 60.38KB] for an overview of the University's ethical review processes.