Research with human participants
All research (unless exempted) conducted with living human participants and the collection and/or study of data derived from living human participants undertaken by UCL students and staff (to include honorary staff, affiliate academics and visiting researchers) on UCL premises or elsewhere, requires ethical approval to ensure that the research conforms with general ethical principles and standards. Ethical approval must be obtained before the commencement of data collection.
Researchers within the UCL Institute of Education must follow the Institute's guidelines where all research involving human participants and their data requires ethical approval.
Ethical approval should be sought through one of the following routes depending on the nature of the research.
- UK Health Departments’ Research Ethics Service (NRES)
Information on what falls under the remit of the UK Health Departments' Research Ethics Service can be found on the UCL Research Ethics Committee webpages. All such studies should apply to the National Research Ethics Service (NRES) for ethical approval.
- UCL Research Ethics Committee (including UCL Institute of Education)
UCL Research Ethics Committee (UCL REC) - For all research not under the remit of an external body researchers must apply for ethical approval from the UCL REC.
For research undertaken by researchers within the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), ethical approval should be sought from the IOE Research Ethics Committee (IOE REC).
For research undertaken overseas researchers will need to apply for UCL REC (or IOE REC) approval as well as any local approval required in the country the study is based. The Research outside the UK page provides further advice regarding overseas research as well as a link to over 100 international ethics committees and relevant policies and guidelines.
- Social Care Research Ethics Committee
All social research funded by the Department of Health should seek ethical approval from the Social Care Research Ethics Committee (SCREC).
- Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee
For research involving human participants and funded or sponsored by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) applications should be made to the MOD Research Ethics Committee (MODREC).
The Which committee should I apply to webpage provides further guidance on this.
It is expected that all members of the research team will be aware of what the formal ethical approval covers as well as any terms and conditions of approval, which includes the date approval expires, as well as the process regarding applying for modifications to ethical approval.