Lancaster University expects the highest standard of research integrity from university researchers as per the Code of Practice. Ethical approval is required for activities that directly involve humans, human tissue, data relating to humans, or other ethical issues when indicated below. If you are conducting research involving animals, read the information about Lancaster’s Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB).
It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI), or PhD Supervisor, to decide whether ethical approval is required. For funded research this decision is recorded on the ACP costing tool, approved by the Head of Department. Researchers must consider ethical risk, and gain approval if appropriate, prior to any work being undertaken; advice is available from Research Services. Where ethical review is required, as indicated below, an application must be submitted to the relevant Faculty Research Ethics Committee (FREC) supported and approved by the PI or Supervisor. Details of the internal processes can be found in the procedures document and additional guidance is located on the faculty ethics web pages.
- Some projects may have more than one aim, in which case the PI is required to make a judgement on the primary aim of the project and follow the appropriate guidance.
- Any substantial amendments to ethically approved applications are required to be submitted for further ethical approval.
- If PIs leading projects that would not normally require ethical review have any ethical concerns regarding aspects of their activities, such as working with vulnerable participants during a service evaluation, they can submit an application for proportionate ethical review.
- Individuals conducting consultancy, service evaluation or audit and who wish to publish their findings in an academic journal, should seek a proportionate ethical review prior to the commencement of their project.
- It may be possible to gain ethical approval for research using data collected from participants during an impact project, consultancy, service evaluation or audit. In these cases, the applicant must request ethical approval articulating how consent for the original participants will be addressed.