Decision Support - Applying for Ethical Approval

Step 1

  • My research involves human subjects and/or non-public data (Proceed to step 2!)
  • My research ONLY involves access to literature

It seems likely that your research does not require ethical approval.
If you are unsure, then please check with your supervisor or contact the ethics committee.

  • My research ONLY involves access to data in the public domain and/or open websites without an identifiable gatekeeper

It seems likely that your research does not require ethical approval.
If you are unsure, then please check with your supervisor or contact the ethics committee.

Step 2

You will need to apply for ethical approval, but which committee?

• My research involves NHS patients, patient data or NHS staff (Proceed to step 3!)

• My research involves human subjects or personal data but is not NHS based
So your research does not involve NHS resources.
You will need to submit this form to the SUMS Research Ethics Sub-Committee –
Standard Ethical Approval pro-forma

Use the guidance notes to help you complete the form -
Guidance notes for standard ethical approval

If your research is based in healthcare outside the UK, then you should seek ethical approval in the country/institution involved where possible in addition to seeking approval from the SUMS Research Ethics Sub-Committee.

Step 3 (and its a big one!)

It is likely that your research proposal is subject to NHS research ethics approval.

Some NHS research may fall outside the remit of the local research ethics committee and, in the first instance, it is recommended that you contact the appropriate local research ethics committee organiser. Some research may be considered as audit or service evaluation under their terms of reference and be exempt from their scrutiny. If this is the case, ask for a letter confirming this and apply to the SUMS Research Ethics Sub-Committee.

If an application to the local research ethics committee is required, then it can be done via IRAS (Integrated Research Application System). If you are a student of SUMS, then you should apply via the SUMS Research Ethics Sub-Committee prior to making an application to the NHS system.
If you are conducting research as part of a Masters programme, then the NHS system requires that your supervisor is named as the principle investigator and you will also need to apply to the University for a letter of indemnity.

You will also need to get permission from your Trust Research and Development group. An IRAS application should also be completed.

Where you are conducting research outside the UK, ethical permission should be sought locally as well as through the SUMS Research Ethics Sub-Committee.

Contact us

Use the links on the side to find further information, or contact the administrator, Sharon Jones on sharon.jones@swansea.ac.uk