Operating Procedures

Each application will normally be reviewed online by three Committee members.  For extensions/renewals of previously approved applications, or “low-risk” research proposals, a new fast track option is in place whereby feedback from only one Committee member is deemed sufficient.  Please see “Fast Track” below for further details.

Each application should be accompanied with at least two supporting documents:

  • An information sheet, i.e.  a ‘plain English’ description of the study and its procedures, enabling participants to decide whether they wish to take part or not.
  • A consent form, i.e. a written statement to be signed by the participant whereby they agree to take part in the study (please note that the signed consent form is an important document that should be kept for the records once the study is completed).

For projects involving EEG, fMRI, MEG, or TMS, please see the following webpages for guidelines and templates:

CCNi Projects: Submit an Ethics Application

CCNi Projects: Review by the steering group

If you intend to conduct a study with UNDERAGED (under 16 years of age) participants, the application MUST be accompanied with a Ethics Children Research Plan Form , ensuring that all the necessary permissions described in that form are obtained.

If you are conducting on-line research via the internet you should consider the appropriate BPS Guidelines

On receipt of the reviews, the Chair will add their own comments and feed back a joint decision to the applicant, which can be one of approve with:

  • Minor Changes Required (this decision means that the application will only be returned to the lead reviewer for further comment once it is resubmitted by the applicant).
  • Major Changes Required (this decision means that the application will be returned to both the reviewers and the lead reviewer for further comment once it is resubmitted by the applicant).
  • Approve (the application is approved and can no longer be amended).
  • Reject Application (the creator and the supervisor (where applicable) are informed of the rejection and the applicant must submit a completely new application if they wish to re-submit their application).

Minor discrepancies in opinion within the Committee may be resolved by vote if necessary, with a casting vote allocated to the Chair. If significant discussion arises without satisfactory resolution, this will provoke referral of the application to the University Ethics Committee. Substantial concerns on the committee about the competence of the Committee to make a decision based on available information may also provoke a referral to the UEC.

Fast Track

In the face of rising workload, and to ensure more efficient processing of applications in general, the CSE Ethics Committee now operates a fast track option for (i) minor extensions/renewals of previously approved applications or (ii) research proposals that are deemed ‘low risk’.

Eligibility criteria for fast track are stated on this FAST TRACK ETHICS FORM

It is recommended to inspect this document (and the links within it) carefully before showering the ethics chair/administrator with questions.

If your proposal meets the criteria for fast track, please fill in this form and upload it as a supporting document (labelled FAST_TRACK) together with your application documents. The same documentation standards apply as for regular applications (application form, information sheet, and consent form remain mandatory).

Important notes:

  • Qualifying for fast track is no entitlement to immediate approval
  • Just as with regular applications, fast track applications will be reviewed by members of the Ethics Committee (i.e., actual human beings)
  • Even with fast track in place, we therefore do not advise leaving ethical review of research projects to the last minute.