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Research Ethics

All researchers are required to conduct their research to the highest ethical standards and each individual researcher is responsible for ensuring good ethical practice. The School of Engineering Research Ethics Committee (REC) has been set up to assist and provide guidance in this process.

When ethical approval is required

Ethical approval should be obtained for all research projects and activities undertaken by staff or students that involves human subjects and participants; collection of personal data; animals; human biological material or genetically-modified organisms.

Which panel to apply to

The School REC will be able to comment on the majority of applications. However in some instances it may be necessary to obtain higher level approval:

  • Level 1 Approval – for applications which involve low levels of risk, and do not involve vulnerable participants or minors. Applications should be submitted to the School REC
  • Level 2 Approval – for applications which involve higher levels of risk, including applications involving the following: vulnerable participants; minors; clinical patients; human tissue; animals; human biological material; genetically-modified organisms. Applications should be submitted to a relevant Level 2 Committee (please see below for details).

If you are unsure which committee is appropriate for the work to be undertaken please contact Mary Kerrigan.

How to apply

The School of Engineering Research Ethics Application form should be completed and returned by e-mail to Mary Kerrigan, along with relevant supporting documentation as outlined in the form. You should ensure that the application is submitted allowing sufficient time for review prior to the commencement of the project or activities. Please see the below timetable for details. Outcomes of the applications will be provided within a week following the meeting date. Please consider that it may be necessary to allow time for any necessary amendments suggested by the Committee prior to commencing your research.

Undergraduate & Masters Research Projects

Where undergraduate or masters level students are undertaking research projects that involve human participants, they should complete the Research Project Checklist, to see if a full level application (as above) is required. Where ethics considerations are minimal, projects can be signed off by their academic supervisor. 

Research Ethics Committee Calendar 2021-2022

Research Ethics submission deadlines Research Ethics committee meeting dates
3rd November 2021 17th November 202
5th January 2022 19th January 2022
2nd March 2022

16th March 2022

27th April 2022 ​11th May 2022

In certain circumstances where there is an urgent need to commence research outside the above timelines, it may be possible to fast-track applications. If you require your application to be fast-tracked please contact Mary Kerrigan.

Level 2 Research Committee

Animal Research Ethics Committee Dr Laavanya Parthasarathi
Faculty of Health Sciences Ethics Committee
Faculty of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences FEC (Website)
Faculty of Engineering Mathematics and Science FEMS
St James's Hospital / Tallaght Hospital, 
Research Ethics Committee (JREC)
Claire Hartin



Researchers who have received ethical approval will be asked to submit a brief report to the committee annually from the commencement of the project (where it exceeds 12 months in length), and at the completion of the project.

Where there is a change to research activities from those originally approved, researchers should return to the Committee to request approval for those changes.


Sample Participant Information Sheet

Sample Consent Form

Lone Researcher Guidelines