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School of Health Sciences

Research ethics

As of September 2018, please ensure you apply for your ethical approval online as the SHS REC Committee will no longer be accepting paper applications.

Please note, this guidance only holds information relevant to research ethics in the School of Health Sciences. For all other information about research ethics at City, including information about how to apply, participant information sheets, consent form templates, and general guidance please see City’s guidance on research ethics.

The university requires all research proposals involving human participation to undergo formal ethical peer review. ‘Human participation’ covers direct data collection from people, for example surveys, observation and physiological measurement. It also includes retrieving data from individual records such as case notes.

Secondary analysis of anonymised data that is published or otherwise disseminated does not require ethical approval. Analysis of routinely collected anonymised data which does not contain personal information does not need approval either as long as permission has been given by the data owner. Literature reviews or reviews of published or otherwise disseminated material does not require ethical approval.

The aim of the ethical review process is to provide a thorough, impartial examination of the ethical issues of a piece of research in a collaborative, pragmatic and proportionate way in order to facilitate safe and ethical research.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Nicholas Drey:

(0) 20 7040 5432
N.Drey@city.ac.uk

School of Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee

Applicants will be notified of the School of Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee (SHS REC) decision within 10 working days of the meeting. The SHS REC can make the following eight decisions:

  • Reject the application outright;
  • Refer the application to Senate REC;
  • Reject the application and ask for a resubmission;
  • Ask for amendments and clarifications to be considered by the Chair plus additional members of the SHS REC;
  • Ask for amendments and clarifications to be considered by the Chair;
  • Grant full ethical approval at the meeting, with no changes required;
  • Additionally the SHS REC may make recommendations which are not formally part of the ethical approval but which applicants, especially students, may find useful.
REC Meeting dates Latest submission dates for paperwork

Thursday 20 September 2018

Wednesday 5 September 2018 - by 5:00pm

Thursday 22 November 2018

Wednesday 7 November 2018 - by 5:00pm

Thursday 24 January 2019

Wednesday 9 January 2019 - by 5:00pm

Thursday 21 February 2019 (MRes applications)

Wednesday 6 February 2019 - by 5:00pm

Thursday 21 March 2019

Wednesday 6 March 2019 - by 5:00pm

Thursday 16 May 2019

Wednesday 1 May 2019 - by 5:00pm

Thursday 4 July 2019

Wednesday 19 June 2019 - by 5:00pm

Proportionate review committees for both Languages and Communication Sciences and Maternal and Child Health: 

Latest submission dates for paperwork

Friday 14 September 2018 - by 5:00pm

Friday 12 October 2018 - by 5:00pm

Friday 30 November 2018 - by 5:00pm

Friday 8 February 2019 - by 5:00pm

Friday 12 April 2019 - by 5:00pm

Friday 14 June 2019 - by 5:00pm

Terms of Reference

  1. To consider the ethical and legal implications of all research involving experiments, investigations and procedures involving human participants carried out in the School of Health Sciences, or under its auspices, that are not subject to direct oversight by Senate REC.
  2. To consider the ethical and legal implications arising from research projects collecting, using and/or storing personal data carried out in the School of Health Sciences, or under its auspices, that are not subject to the direct oversight by Senate REC.
  3. To devise guidance, set standards, propose and review policy on the ethical conduct of research within the School of Health Sciences in conjunction with Senate REC and the SHS Research Committee.
  4. To approve proportionate review delegation frameworks and procedures relating to research ethics in SHS in conjunction with Senate REC and the SHS Research Committee.
  5. To receive from individual members of academic staff, students, proportionate review streams, proposals for all other research involving experiments, investigations and procedures falling within its terms of reference (1 & 2) and to allow, refer back or disallow such proposals, specifying where necessary any conditions subject to which proposals may be allowed.
  6. In carrying out its responsibilities, to seek and take account of all necessary advice from sources within and without City.
  7. To report to Senate REC annually on the research, experiments, investigations and procedures which have been allowed by the Committee through the Chair of the Committee.
  8. To receive minutes and reports from proportionate review within SHS and to carry out spot checks on the effectiveness of procedures and standards adopted by proportionate review streams.
  9. To submit a copy of the minutes of each meeting to Senate REC and SHS Research Committee.

Other ethical codes of practice

The SHS does not require an individual researcher to subscribe to any particular framework for the ethical review and conduct of research. However, it expects applicants to ensure that the rights, dignity and safety of participants, researchers and third parties are maintained and promoted at all times, that legal and national policy requirements for research are followed, and that City is protected from reputational and financial risk.

We expect applicants to follow appropriate governmental, professional and academic guidance and to articulate within the application the approach that they are taking. In particular there are professional codes covering research ethics that are obligatory for registrant researchers to follow: for example those produced by the NMC, GMC and British Psychological Society, amongst others. More general codes or frameworks that applicants are referred to include: the Framework for Research Ethics from the ESRC, Prinicpalism (the Four Principles plus Scope), the Social Research Association and numerous additional specialist guidance. The Health Research Authority (HRA) has mandatory guidance for research projects involving patients and staff.

Composition of the Committee

The composition is intended to reflect the diversity of research activity within the SHS. Members are asked to join on the basis of an interest in research ethics and a desire to contribute. Each research centre within the school also sends a delegate, those who lead the proportionate review streams are also required to attend.

The composition of the SHS REC includes a Chair and two Deputy Chairs and up to 8 other academics from the school. There are also two external members, and two ex-officio members: the Information Assurance Officer and the Secretary to Senate REC, both from City, University of London. At present there is no student member nor a lay external member.

The SHS REC is supported by the Research Governance Officer within the School.

From 1st September 2017 the tenure on the committee will be as follows:

Chair & Deputy Chairs: up to 5 years with one reappointment, (total of 10 years) thereafter they must step down for a year. Appointed by the Associate Dean for Research.

Ordinary members: up to 3 years initially with two reappointments for 3 years (a total of 9 years) thereafter they must step down for a year. Appointed by the Chair.

Ex offcio members: the Information Assurance Officer and the Secretary to Senate REC, both from City, University London, duration of their tenure. Ex officio.

External members: up to five years with one reappointment, (total of 10 years) thereafter they must step down. Appointed by the Associate Dean for Research and Chair SHS REC.

Name Internal (I) / External (E) Member fromRole
Dr Nicholas Drey (Chair) I 2008 Senior Lecturer in Health Services Research, Nursing
Prof Ron Douglas (Deputy Chair) I 2008 Prof of Visual Science Lead: Applied Vision Research proportionate review
Dr Martin Cartwright (Deputy Chair) I 2015 Senior Lecturer, HSRM
Members   
Dr Celia Harding I 2016 Senior Lecturer, LCS Joint lead: LCS proportionate review (with Lucy Henry)
Dr Manbir Nagra I 2016 Lecturer, Optometry and Visual Science
Dr Kathleen Mulligan I 2013 Senior Research Fellow, HSRM
Dr Katherine Curtis-Tyler I 2014 Senior Lecturer, Child Health Lead: Maternal & Child Health proportionate review
Dr Juanita Hoe I 2017 Senior Lecturer, Mental health Nursing
Ex office members   
Ms Caroline Llewellyn I n/a Information Assurance Officer
Ms Anna Ramberg I n/a Secretary to Senate REC
External members   
Dr Deanna Gibbs E 2010 Research Consultant, Barts Health NHS Trust
Dr Kirti Patel E 2011 Research  Contracts Manager, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
In Attendance    
Ms Alison Welton I n/a Secretary to SHS REC, Research Governance Officer

Research ethics policy review

This policy will be reviewed every two years, commencing in June 2019.  The SHS REC will review its terms of reference at the first meeting of each academic year in September.