University Ethics Committee (UEC)Helpful hints

Think you might need ethics approval for your project? Read these helpful hints first!

Check to see if you need ethics approval as early as possible

If you are a Strathclyde staff member or student you will need ethics approval for any project involving human beings, including research, student projects and teaching exercises.

You don't need ethics approval if you are on a professional placement providing routine care, working from historical documents, consulting experts or providing a service evaluation.

Read these things before you start your ethics application form

If your project involves the NHS you need to complete an NHS form and get ethics and R&D approval from the NHS. Check out the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS).

To get ethics approval at Strathclyde you usually need to complete the . However, for a few student projects there is a special online form that must be completed. Ask your course coordinator if you aren't sure what form to complete. When completing the Ethics Application Form please refer to the Guidance on completing the Ethics Application Form which has helpful information for each question.

There is lots of useful information on the UEC website, including the Code of Practice on Investigations Involving Human Beings. You should definitely read the Code of Practice.

Work out your deadlines

Check page 11 of the Code of Practice to see if your project is within the remit of the UEC or your Departmental/School Ethics Committee (DEC/SEC).

If your project is within the UEC remit check the UEC website for meeting dates and deadlines for paperwork.

If your project is within the remit of your DEC/SEC, contact your DEC/SEC early to find out deadlines. If in doubt your Department/School Secretary should be able to help.

Avoid common mistakes

  • Read the Guidance on completing the Ethics Application Form
  • Use most recent template for the participant information sheet and consent form
  • Ensure the language used in the application is suitable for lay members of the UEC
  • Ensure the language used in the consent form and participant information sheet is appropriate for the participant group and can be easily understood by the participant group
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread!
  • Use spell check
  • Ensure documents are consistently and appropriately formatted
  • Check current University brand rules for logos
  • Check use of tenses through paperwork
  • Draft and include all relevant paperwork such as:
    • letters to organisations seeking their involvement
    • research instruments (for example questionnaires, interview schedule)
    • emails
    • posters
    • advertisements seeking volunteers