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Research Ethics


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Research Ethics Committee Calendar
Academic Year 2023- 2024

Research Ethics submission deadlines
Research Ethics committee meeting dates

4pm Friday 22rd September 2023

MT Teaching Week 5 Tuesday 10th Oct (11-1pm)

4pm Friday 3rd November 2023

MT Teaching Week 11 Tuesday 21st Nov (11-1pm)

4pm Friday 19th January 2024

HT Teaching Week 3 Tuesday 6th Feb (11-1pm)

4pm Friday 15th March 2024

HT Teaching Week 11 Tuesday 2nd April (11-1pm)

4pm Friday 5th April 2024

TT Week 1 Tuesday 23rd April (11-1pm)

4pm Friday 10th May 2024

TT Week 6 Tuesday 28th May (11-1pm)

Research Ethics Review Process

The School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences conducts an ethical review of all research projects in the School involving human subjects. Ethics approval will be required for all such research conducted either by staff members or students. Approval must be obtained prior to the commencement of data collection and cannot be applied for or granted retrospectively. Obtaining prior ethical approval for research involving human participants is an essential requirement for the acceptance of undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations as well as MLitt and PhD thesis proposals.

The Committee consists of the REC Chair, members of academic staff drawn from both disciplines in the School, one member with legal expertise and one external member from another School in the AHSS Faculty. The unanimous agreement of the Committee is required in order to grant approval for any project. Applicants may appeal a decision made by the REC in writing to the Head of School. The Head of School will decide how to proceed with any such appeal in consultation with the School Executive.

Some types of research require you to complete a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). You should decide whether your research requires a DPIA by reading the Information Compliance page located here:

If you have submitted a DPIA, you should indicate this in your ethics application. You should also include the outcome of that DPIA. If you have not yet received an outcome, please state this in your ethics application. 

Application for ethics approval involves the applicant submitting a completed standard application form, along with supporting documents, to the Research Ethics Committee by the specified submission date.

An electronic version of your application, compiled as a single PDF document, must be submitted to the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences.   The email address for the School is:


Decisions of the REC may take one of three forms: (1) Ethical approval is granted (2) Ethical approval will be granted subject to satisfactory completion of revisions (3) A full resubmission is required. In the case of applications from students, the decision letter will be copied to the supervisor.

All decisions of the REC will be communicated to applicants by e-mail and will normally be within two weeks of the date of the meeting. A decision may occasionally take longer where vulnerable participant groups are involved, where additional information is required by the Committee, or where consultation with other bodies (eg the College Research Ethics Committee) is required.

All applications for ethical approval will be assessed according to the same criteria. In the case of research carried out by students, however, the application form must be signed by the supervisor as well as by the student applicant. If a staff member obtains ethics approval for a research programme which includes a particular student’s project, that student does not need to obtain separate ethics approval.

On completion of a research project, applicants should complete the End of Project Report Form.

  • Undergraduate and Taught Master's students should submit this form in hard copy to the departmental office at the same time as dissertation submission
  • Ph.D. students must (i) mention any modifications to research project design in their annual progress report, and (ii) submit the End of Project Report Form to the DPGTL at the same time as thesis submission.

Ongoing Research

In the case of certain ongoing research programmes (eg those in the Phonetics Lab which involve audio recording of participants from time to time over an extended period) ethics approval for the programme as a whole for a period not exceeding three years may be sought from the REC by the supervisor/principal investigator.

In cases where students in a course/module are required to carry out very similar research projects, a single application may be made by the instructor covering all course projects. If projects for a particular course stay substantially the same from year to year, a single application may be made to cover a three year period.

The obligation to be fully informed about the research ethics review process and about ethical issues in particular areas of research rests entirely with the applicant. In the case of students, it is the responsibility of supervisors and course coordinators to ensure that ethical issues are fully understood and that the information in the application form and supporting documentation is accurate and complete. Students should have application materials assembled in sufficient time to allow their supervisor to review and approve them. Preparing the research ethics application can be a useful exercise in itself which contributes to the development of a dissertation proposal.

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