The University is committed to ensuring that all research, and in particular, studies involving human participants, are conducted in a way which respects the dignity, rights, and welfare of participants, and which minimises risks to participants, researchers, third parties, and to the University itself.
All research conducted by staff and students from Lancaster University needs to adhere to the ethical standards set out in the University’s ‘Code of Practice’ and in accordance with research ethics guidelines specified by the research councils (RCUK), by funding bodies such as the ESRC and by relevant subject-specific professional organisations.
The University has an agreed procedure for supporting students and staff in considering ethical issues in relation to their research. All Lancaster University researchers (staff and students, working on funded and non-funded projects), in particular those who conduct studies involving human participants and personal data, need to submit their project for ethics review and seek ethics approval for their research. Studies which use publicly available data sources only (for example newspaper articles, published policy documents or laws or published research literature) and which do not raise any other ethical concerns (such as funding sources that could be considered controversial or a conflict of interest) normally do not require ethics review. If you are uncertain whether your study requires review or not, please consult the guidance and checklist on our application form (see ‘how to apply’) or contact the Committee Secretary.
Ethics reviews are dealt with by Faculty-based research ethics committees. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Management School have a joint research ethics committee. The FASS-LUMS Research Ethics Committee (FASS LUMS REC) is responsible for setting standards and policy for research ethics within the two Faculties. The REC considers and reviews ethics applications from staff and research students, for funded and non-funded projects. Ethics applications by UG and taught PG students are dealt with at departmental level (please see additional information on the applications process for UG and taught PG students in the section on ‘how to apply’).
The FASS-LUMS REC can offer advice and training on ethics in relation to research in the social sciences and the subjects covered in the Management School. The FASS-LUMS REC is a sub-committee of the University’s Research Ethics Committee.
Download documents for this section: Code of Practice