Ethics Application Procedures

If you or your students are conducting any research involving human subjects, materials or data not in the public domain, you should apply for ethical approval.

Required Documents

To apply for ethical approval, applicants must complete and submit the following documents (templates for application form and consent form can be downloaded from this website, all other documentation should be submitted as word documents):

  • CofA ethics application form nov 2020 (Word document, 48 KB)
  • Research Proposal briefly explaining your project
  • Arts Ethics Consent Form (Word document, 102 KB) (if your research includes the collection of data, e.g. interviews)
  • Questionnaire or sample questions (if your research includes interviews, surveys etc)

Depending on the nature of your research project, you may also have to supply the following:

  • Information letter for participants
  • Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme memberbship (only if you will be in sole charge of vulnerable groups during your research)
  • Data Protection Permission Form
  • Description of how Copyright Permission will be obtained (if relevant)

For more detailed information please see CofA Research Ethics Guidelines updated Nov 2020 (PDF, 628 KB). 


All applications must be submitted online through the University's Research Ethics System (access via My Glasgow > Business Systems > Research Ethics System).


Applications should be submitted at least four weeks before the start of the research. It is the expectation of the College of Arts that data collection will not begin until ethical approval has been granted.

Class Applications: If you supervise a group of students pursuing linked projects, you can submit a single application on behalf of all of them. However, staff should make sure that students involved are aware of ethical issues and have read the College’s Ethics Policy.

Should you have any further questions, please contact the College's Research Ethics Team:

Review of Applications

All ethics applications will be scrutinised by at least three members of the College Research Ethics Committee (CREC). Members of the Committee involved in the research proposal cannot act as scrutineers. Consultation will usually be electronic or by internal mail, although the full Committee will meet once a year to review its procedures and the decisions taken; this meeting will take place as part of the last meeting of the academic session of the College Research Committee. The Committee will be asked to ensure that the proposal under consideration is congruent with ethical considerations identified by the AHRC (the default position) or, if appropriate, by other funding bodies.

Ethical considerations identified by the AHRC include the following:

  • the intellectual property rights of all those involved in the research, including both research staff and research subjects
  • confidentiality of information provided by research subjects, and anonymity of respondents
  • transparency to both staff and subjects as to the purpose, methods, and possible uses of the research, and any risks involved
  • legal restrictions upon access to or the use of research resources and data
  • arrangements for the publication of research results, including issues of co-authorship;independence and impartiality of judgement; authentication of findings; and acknowledgement

The Committee may:

  • authorise the research to proceed without requiring any amendment. The Committee’s scrutineers must agree; absence of objection is insufficient. Any such authorisation is granted on the basis of the project as stated on the research submission; any changes must be notified to (and approved by) the Committee;
  • seek additional information, if necessary through a formal meeting of the Committee with the researcher (though this will be the exception rather than the rule);
  • ask that a particular aspect of the methodology should be reconsidered;
  • reject the research proposal in whole or in part;
  • revoke its approval of the research if dissatisfied with the conduct of the research or of the researchers;
  • refer university students or staff through the University’s disciplinary procedures if issues of concern arise from the research.

In all except the first instance (i.e. authorisation) the Committee will give reasons in writing for its decision. It is hoped that all decisions will be made within a fortnight of proposals reaching the Ethics Officer. A record will be kept of all applications and decisions.


Researchers who are dissatisfied with the decision made by the College Ethics Committee should in the first instance discuss the matter with the College Ethics Officer. If discussion is unable to resolve the issue satisfactorily, an appeal from the College Ethics Committee may be made to the College.

Contact the College Ethics Officer: