University Ethics Committee

The University Ethics Committee (UEC) is responsible to the Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee (RKEC), for the consideration of general ethical issues relating to the teaching and research of the University which involves investigations on human beings.

The UEC will consider studies submitted for ethical review and will strive to protect the rights, dignity, safety and well-being of all actual and potential participants.  The Committee will also provide impartial advice to participants and researchers.  The UEC meets on a monthly basis (usually the first Thursday of every month) to consider projects submitted for ethical review.

The Code of Practice on Investigations Involving Human Beings was published in February 2017 and provides information on which projects must be submitted to the UEC for consideration and which can be dealt with by Departmental and School Ethics Committees. The Code sets out the procedures to be followed when submitting a project for ethical review and the responsibilities of the various parties involved. The Code also contains information on the membership and the terms of reference of the UEC.

Submitting your ethics application

When submitting your application, please number the documents in your email (i.e. in the file name for each document, eg "1 Ethics App Form", "2 PIS", "3 Interview Questionnaire" etc) in the order you would like them packaged together for consideration by the UEC.

Guidance and training

Information for DEC/SEC Convenors

Conveners should contact the UEC Manager with any queries regarding applications or ethics processes. 

Applications for projects with external funding must be sent to the UEC Manager for sponsorship review. 

A DEC/SEC can apply to the UEC to request devolved responsibility for ethical approval for certain categories of investigations which would normally fall within the remit of the UEC (See Section B1 on page 11 of the Code) but where the DEC/SEC considers that it has the appropriate expertise to consider such investigations. If the UEC approves the devolvement application, the DEC/SEC must only approve investigations that clearly fall within the parameters detailed in the application form. Should the DEC/SEC have any doubt that an investigation does fall within these parameters or if the DEC/SEC is uncomfortable about granting ethical approval for any individual application then this should be referred to the UEC for consideration and approval. For more information, Conveners should contact the UEC Manager.

The DEC/SEC must keep records of the individual investigations that fall within the remit of the devolvement and that it grants ethical approval for. The DEC/SEC will be required to report on these records annually to the UEC as part of the DEC/SEC annual monitoring exercise.