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Research Ethics Committee

Even if you think your study does not require ethical approval, please check through the information on this site to ensure that it does not. Queen Mary policy on research conduct states that failure to secure ethical approval where appropriate is misconduct and therefore subject to disciplinary procedure.

Why should I seek ethical approval?
Any research which involves human participants (including human data or human tissue) may give rise to ethical risks and it is essential that researchers manage these risks effectively.  In order to ensure that high ethical standards are maintained in the research carried out by Queen Mary, there are ethical policies and procedures which must be followed (and be seen to be followed).  Many Research Councils, other funding bodies, and partner organisations require evidence of ethical approval before they can consider an application. 
If research goes ahead without appropriate ethical approval it puts at risk not only the research participants, but the researchers themselves, other QM staff, and the good standing of Queen Mary. Even if research takes place abroad and/or is not funded by Queen Mary, researchers who are members of the staff or students of Queen Mary are required for this reason to seek ethical approval from Queen Mary.

All Researchers should refer to the Council of Queen Mary University of London Statement of Research Ethics Policy

Where relevant, researchers should also check out legal requirements or other guidance which could affect their research.  See below:

NHS Ethical Approval
NHS ethical approval is required for any research proposal whether or not the PI (Principal Investigator) is based in the School of Medicine and Dentistry involving:

  • Participants recruited due to them being patients and users of the NHS whether past or present (including recently deceased).  It includes NHS patients treated under contracts with private sector institutions.
  • Individuals identified who are relatives or carers of patients or users of the NHS
  • Access to data from NHS Patients
  • Human tissue as defined by the Human Tissue Act

Examples where Humanities and Social Science and Science and Engineering researchers would require NHS approval are:

  • Projects involving interviewing doctors, patients and carers.
  • Projects testing a new medical device.
  • Projects analysing data from NHS sources.

Research that requires NHS ethical approval must be submitted to the NHS via NRES. (National Research Ethics Service). See Ethical Approval website for further advice.
Also, you can contact the Joint Research and Development Office direct on 020 7882 7272 for assistance with these projects.

N.B. Due to recent changes in government guidelines, the following research may be viewed by Queen Mary Research Ethics Committee, but researchers are advised to take advice from Ms Covill (or staff at the Joint Research and Development Office) before submitting any applications.

  • The use of NHS premises or facilities
  • NHS Staff – recruited as research participants by virtue of their professional role

How to apply

Standard applications
You should complete the form below (in accordance with the guidelines), and send a signed copy, to:

Hazel Covill
Room W117, Finance Department
Queens’ Building
Queen Mary University of London
Mile End Road
London E1 4NS
Tel: 020 7882 7915 (not Fridays)

Researchers carrying out fieldwork are required to complete the College Risk Assessment [DOC 108 KB] and forward it with their application.

Please see the meeting schedule for submission deadlines. (If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact Ms Covill directly).

Expedited (fast-track) Review
Some proposed research may well fall into the category of extremely 'low-risk', i.e. interviews with adult professionals about non-contentious subjects. Researchers in these cases are welcome to use the online system of fast-track approval. Applications can be made at anytime - with feedback received within fifteen working days.

To apply go to: (College sign in required as this system can be only be used by Queen Mary Staff and Research Students)

N.B. Should any problem be experienced with the system, researchers may fill in the application manually and send it direct, via email or post, to Ms Covill (details above). Download the application form below:
Making an application

Human Performance Laboratory
Researchers wishing to obtain ethical approval to for any studies in the Human Performance Laboratory should contact Dr Dylan Morrissey:

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