ScHARR’s Research Ethics Review
The main purpose of the ethics review procedures is to facilitate the research undertaken by members of the department in a way that protects both our research participants and members of ScHARR. Sir David King, when he was the United Kingdom Government´s Chief Scientific Adviser, summarised research ethics succinctly, as a combination of RIGOUR, RESPECT & RESPONSIBILITY. These generic principles apply to all of the University of Sheffield´s research activities, in all of our academic disciplines.
ScHARR Ethical Review Procedures
Our aim is to accommodate all proposed research as far as is ethically possible. Our procedures and forms comply with the University of Sheffield ethics policy for research involving human participants, data and tissue. The department expects all research to abide by the University ethics guidelines.
So that we can continue to ensure the timely turnaround of research ethics applications for students, at all levels, we are revising the application process. The process requires supervisors to have read and
approved the application and we will now only accept electronic submission from supervisors on behalf of students. Before submitting please can we request that supervisors ensure that the ethics application is appropriately filled in with sufficient detail, all supporting documentation is included, and the application is written to an appropriate standard of English.
Research ethics procedures for staff and postgraduate research students
Please note that the system for ethical review (staff, PhD and 'high risk' post grad) in ScHARR involves monthly ethics committee review and we request that the application be submitted by the supervisor only after any issues raised by independent scientific review have been addressed.
Please see the download - Dates for the ScHARR ethics committee meeting - for more information and closing dates for applications each month. Applicants will be invited to the meeting. Please submit by email as a word document in the first instance for 1.00 on the closing date. Applications received after this date can not be considered until the following meeting. PGR applications must be submitted on behalf of students by their supervisor.
Signed hard copies will be required after approval.
Please ensure that you application form is appropriately completed and contains sufficient detail to review. Insufficient detail and poorly completed applications delay the process of review. Watch the electure below which outlines some of the common problems in applications. In addition, please see two anonymised examples of ethics applications in the download box which provide illustrations of the information we require. The University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) has provided a range of Specialist Research Ethics Guidance Papers to support researcher in specific areas including anonymity and confidentiality, researching children, participatory action research and autoethnographic research. http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ris/other/gov-ethics/ethicspolicy/further-guidance/special-guidance/papers
Observing the Research Ethics Committee
ScHARR Research Ethics Committee welcomes observers. This must be arranged in advance with the Ethics Administrator, and is on a first come first served basis as we limit the number of observers. Observing the Ethics Committee will not involve particpating in discussions and no personal applicant's details or ethics applications will be passed on. Observers will be expected to respect the confidentiality of the proposals discussed and not discuss the details outside of the meeting.
Health service research or evaluation?
A useful guide to whether your NHS project is 'research', 'service evaluation', or 'audit' can be viewed from the download box. Details about sponsorhip are found at: www.sheffield.ac.uk/ris/other/gov-ethics/governance/rgp
The Department of Health defines research as 'the attempt to derive generalisable new knowledge by addressing clearly defined questions with systematic and rigorous methods'. It defines healthcare research as 'Concerned with the protection and promotion of public health undertaken in or by the Department of Health, its non-Departmental Public Bodies and the NHS including:
1. clinical and non-clinical research
2. research undertaken by universities within the health care system that might have an impact on the quality of those services'.
The NHS has a narrower defintion of research than the University which requires research ethics approval for all research that involves human participants, personal data or human tissue. Therefore, projects classed as 'service evaluation' in the NHS may still require University ethics approval. More detail on University defintions can be found at:www.sheffield.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.89609!/file/General-Principles-and-Statements-vs2.pdf
Students doing research overseas
Research that will take place in another country and will involve human participants from that country may require ethics approval via an appropriate ethics review procedure in that country. A review and assessment of how local approval is obtained is an essential part of the ethical review process. Where such a procedure exists, it may not be necessary for the researcher to seek ethics approval via the University of Sheffield's Ethics Review Procedure, providing that the overseas procedure is judged to be sufficiently robust by the UREC (refer to Section 4.2.1 for details of the relevant assessment process).
The following link provides information on which research ethics procedures are recognised by the University as being sufficiently robust so as not to require University Research Ethics review.
Other Types of Research Ethics Review
If your research involves NHS patients you will require NHS Research Ethics Review (you no longer require NHS ethics review for research involving staff). This is a typically lengthy process and may take up to six months. Details can be found at:www.nres.npsa.nhs.uk/
There is a proportionate review service for NHS research considered 'low risk'. Details can be found at: www.nres.npsa.nhs.uk/applications/proportionate-review/
This still requires a full IRAS application and may still prove to be a lengthy process.
The below links provide further information on procedures with links to the required application forms.
If your research involves adults who are unable to consent, or are in social care sector, than you require Social Care Research Ethics Review. Details can be found at: http://www.screc.org.uk/
If you need to make a change from your original application, please use the amendment form in the download box and submit to the ethics administrator.
The University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) oversees the Schools's ethics review procedures. In very exceptional cases where agreement cannot be reached within the school, this committee can review applications. Members of the department wishing to appeal a decision of the School´s Ethics Review Committee should inform Richard Hudson (Research Office) via Cheryl Oliver, the Ethics Administrator.
Kirsty Woodhead, Ethics administrator, +44 (0)114 222 5453
email : email@example.com