Research Ethics

The FST Research Ethics Committee (FSTREC) oversees ethical review of proposed research that is not reviewed through research ethics mechanisms outside the University, such as the NHS Research Ethics Service.

A research project being conducted by FST staff and/or research students should be submitted to the FSTREC for ethical review if it involves human participants, or other possible ethical risk factors, and is not being reviewed externally.

Due to committee staffing issues, please note that applications received after the next deadline (21st November 12.00) may not be processed before the Christmas break.

Undergraduate and taught postgraduate coursework and dissertations that involve the generation of data with human participants need to be approved BEFORE any data is generated. Responsibility for ethics review of undergraduate and taught postgraduate projects lies within the Departments.

The aim of the committee is to ensure that ethical considerations and issues are addressed in the conduct of research. The committee seeks to support and encourage the process of ethically conducted research in FST, by identifying ethical researchers rather than ethical research, to enable not block research, to maintain the safety and well-being of participants and researchers, to assess ethics, not the methodology, and to promote ethical values.

The committee structure includes members from many of the FST departments providing diversity in perspectives and speciality knowledge.

The review process

The FSTREC works in close collaboration with the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC). However, the process is designed so that applications will undergo full review by only one committee in most cases. All applications for ethical review should be submitted to the FSTREC.

For queries prior to submission of an application:

For questions about the logistics of the application process, or about ethical issues and application content, please contact the Science & Technology Research Ethics Officer, Becky Case.

Applications

Does your research project involve any of the following?

  • Human participants (including all types of interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, records relating to humans, use of internet or other secondary data, observation etc.)
  • Animals - the term animals shall be taken to include any non-human vertebrates or cephalopods.
  • Risk to members of the research team, such as:
    • lone-working
    • travel to areas where researchers may be at risk
    • risk of emotional distress
  • Human cells or tissues other than those established in laboratory cultures
  • Risk to the environment
  • Conflict of interest
  • Research or a funding source that could be considered controversial
  • Social media and/or data from internet sources that could be considered private
  • any other ethical considerations

Yes

If you have answered YES to any of the above, we ask you to take the following steps in submitting an application to the committee:

  1. Apply to the committee by submitting
    • The completed FSTREC Application Form.
    • All accompanying research materials such as, but not limited to:
    • Advertising materials (posters, e-mails)
    • Letters of invitation to participate
    • Participant information sheets
    • Consent Forms
    • Questionnaires, surveys, demographic sheets
    • Interview schedules, interview question guides, focus group scripts
    • Debriefing sheets, resource lists
  2. Create a single Word document of all application materials.
  3. Submit one electronic copy of the full application materials.
  4. Applications must be submitted by the stated Committee meeting deadline, to Becky Case, Science & Technology Research Ethics Officer at fst-ethics@lancaster.ac.uk
  5. If required, be available to attend the committee meeting, by telephone if necessary, on the day that the application is considered (this is mostly for complex proposals).

For questions about the logistics of the application process, or about ethical issues and application content, please contact the Science & Technology Research Ethics Officer, Becky Case.

The following are estimated times required for the review of ethics applications from staff and PhD students. We will do our best to not exceed these times. However, we cannot exclude that due to circumstances such as high volume of applications or absence of committee members due to illness some applications may take longer to review.

The length of time required for each review is related to the complexity of ethical issues raised by your planned study. Furthermore, it depends on the quality of your application (e.g. have you explained clearly and in lay terms what the project aims to do) and the speed at which you are able to respond to requests for revisions or clarification from the reviewers. Therefore, the times given below are estimated review times, and it is likely that it will take longer for you to receive full approval of your application.

It is entirely your, the applicant’s responsibility, to submit applications in good time so that any data collection can start as planned and only AFTER ethics approval has been obtained.

Applications requiring Chair’s action only:   up to two weeks
Low risk applications:    up to four weeks
Applications needing to be considered at Committee meeting:  up to six weeks

Please note that these times might be exceeded during periods of high demand and staff absences, particularly around University closure periods (Christmas and Easter).

Calendar

Applications for ethics review can be submitted at any time. However, if your study poses significant ethical risks, it will be considered by the committee at its monthly meetings. Please submit your application by the committee deadline (see below).

FSTREC Meeting DatesDeadline for applications (12pm)
   
13th September 29th August
25th October 10th October
29th November 21st November
31st January 2019 16th January 2019
7th March 20th February
30th May 15th May
11th July 26th June
   

More

The following provides guidance on where to find further information about issues that may apply to your project, regardless of whether you are a staff member, research student or UG/PG applicant.

For queries relating to Intellectual Property please e-mail the Intellectual Property Team (ext. 93298)

NHS Sponsorship

If your work involves animals you will need authorisation from the Chief Administrative Officer and may need to submit an application to AWERB, please contact the secretary to AWERB, Lucy Sanderson for further details.

  • Applications

    Applications

    Does your research project involve any of the following?

    • Human participants (including all types of interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, records relating to humans, use of internet or other secondary data, observation etc.)
    • Animals - the term animals shall be taken to include any non-human vertebrates or cephalopods.
    • Risk to members of the research team, such as:
      • lone-working
      • travel to areas where researchers may be at risk
      • risk of emotional distress
    • Human cells or tissues other than those established in laboratory cultures
    • Risk to the environment
    • Conflict of interest
    • Research or a funding source that could be considered controversial
    • Social media and/or data from internet sources that could be considered private
    • any other ethical considerations

    Yes

    If you have answered YES to any of the above, we ask you to take the following steps in submitting an application to the committee:

    1. Apply to the committee by submitting
      • The completed FSTREC Application Form.
      • All accompanying research materials such as, but not limited to:
      • Advertising materials (posters, e-mails)
      • Letters of invitation to participate
      • Participant information sheets
      • Consent Forms
      • Questionnaires, surveys, demographic sheets
      • Interview schedules, interview question guides, focus group scripts
      • Debriefing sheets, resource lists
    2. Create a single Word document of all application materials.
    3. Submit one electronic copy of the full application materials.
    4. Applications must be submitted by the stated Committee meeting deadline, to Becky Case, Science & Technology Research Ethics Officer at fst-ethics@lancaster.ac.uk
    5. If required, be available to attend the committee meeting, by telephone if necessary, on the day that the application is considered (this is mostly for complex proposals).

    For questions about the logistics of the application process, or about ethical issues and application content, please contact the Science & Technology Research Ethics Officer, Becky Case.

    The following are estimated times required for the review of ethics applications from staff and PhD students. We will do our best to not exceed these times. However, we cannot exclude that due to circumstances such as high volume of applications or absence of committee members due to illness some applications may take longer to review.

    The length of time required for each review is related to the complexity of ethical issues raised by your planned study. Furthermore, it depends on the quality of your application (e.g. have you explained clearly and in lay terms what the project aims to do) and the speed at which you are able to respond to requests for revisions or clarification from the reviewers. Therefore, the times given below are estimated review times, and it is likely that it will take longer for you to receive full approval of your application.

    It is entirely your, the applicant’s responsibility, to submit applications in good time so that any data collection can start as planned and only AFTER ethics approval has been obtained.

    Applications requiring Chair’s action only:   up to two weeks
    Low risk applications:    up to four weeks
    Applications needing to be considered at Committee meeting:  up to six weeks

    Please note that these times might be exceeded during periods of high demand and staff absences, particularly around University closure periods (Christmas and Easter).

  • Membership
  • Calendar

    Calendar

    Applications for ethics review can be submitted at any time. However, if your study poses significant ethical risks, it will be considered by the committee at its monthly meetings. Please submit your application by the committee deadline (see below).

    FSTREC Meeting DatesDeadline for applications (12pm)
       
    13th September 29th August
    25th October 10th October
    29th November 21st November
    31st January 2019 16th January 2019
    7th March 20th February
    30th May 15th May
    11th July 26th June
       
  • Documentation
  • More

    More

    The following provides guidance on where to find further information about issues that may apply to your project, regardless of whether you are a staff member, research student or UG/PG applicant.

    For queries relating to Intellectual Property please e-mail the Intellectual Property Team (ext. 93298)

    NHS Sponsorship

    If your work involves animals you will need authorisation from the Chief Administrative Officer and may need to submit an application to AWERB, please contact the secretary to AWERB, Lucy Sanderson for further details.