Membership of Committee

Membership

Dr Muir Houston  College Ethics Ethics Officer/Convener of CREC

Prof Georgios Sermpinis   Adam Smith Business School Ethics Officer/Convener of SEF

Mr Anthony Gloyne   Adam Smith Business School

Dr Marco Guidi  Adam Smith Business School

Dr Dania Thomas  Adam Smith Business School

Dr Kara Makara Fuller  School of Education Ethics Officer/Convener of SEF

Dr Bonnie Slade School of Education

Dr Lesley Doyle  School of Education

Dr Benjamin Franks  School of Interdisciplinary Studies Ethics Officer/Convener of SEF

Mr David Clelland   School of Interdisciplinary Studies

Dr Akbar Rasulov  School of Law Ethics Officer/Convener of SEF

Ms Shanti Williamson School of Law

Dr Susan Batchelor   School of Social and Political Sciences  Ethics Officer/Convener of SEF

Dr David McArthur School of Social and Political Sciences

Dr Adriana Mihaela Soaita School of Social and Political Sciences

Dr Evangelia Demou  MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Services Unit 

Dr Ruth Lewis    MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Services Unit

Mrs Terri Hume  College Ethics Administrator/Clerk to Committee


What the College Research Ethics Committee does

The remit of the College of Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee is concerned to protect:

  •     the dignity, human rights, health, safety and privacy of research participants
  •     the health and safety of researchers
  •     the reputation of the College as a centre for properly conducted and high quality research

The Committee aims to ensure as far as possible that the methodology of proposed research carried out by or on behalf of the College and University respects the interests and rights of human participants involved in the research; that valid consent has been obtained and that the potential information to be gained by the research is not outweighed by any costs to the subject in time, effort, discomfort or potential risk.  The Committee is also available to assist researchers in exploring potential ethical issues which may arise as a result of a proposed project.

The Committee produces guidelines and the application form to be used for the conduct of non-clinical research and ensures that all Schools within the College use them.


Terms of reference

The College of Social Sciences Ethics Committee Terms of Reference are:

  • to review non-clinical research proposals (from both staff and students) involving human participants, human material and data
  • to either given written approval for such proposals in the form of minutes or provide written information as to why approval has not been given
  • to consider revised submissions where appropriate
  • to refer to the University of Glasgow Research Ethics Committee cases which cannot be satisfactorily resolved or about which there is uncertainty
  • to operate procedures informed by those suggested or required by relevant professional bodies
  • to inform the School Ethics Officers of any changes in the ethical codes of professional bodies in relevant discipline areas, in order that the University's procedures remain valid.

The College Ethics Officer

The College Ethics Officer is responsible for the management of ethical issues in research in the College.  The responsibilities of the Ethics Officer are as follows:

  • ensuring that any policy or guidelines developed with or through the University Ethics Committee are followed
  • keeping College ethical issues in research under review
  • managing and monitoring the procedures in practice
  • ensuring that appropriate records of applications, practices and decisions are made and kept
  • reporting to the Head of College as appropriate
  • reporting to the College through an appropriate forum
  • reporting on an annual basis on behalf of the College to the University Ethics Committee
  • conducting a three yearly review of College ethical procedures and reporting on behalf of the College to the University Ethics Committee
  • membership of the University Ethics Committee.  This entails attending meetings of the University Ethics Committee and dealing with the work of that Committee.

College Research Ethics Committee

The Committee meets three or four times a year to discuss general principles and consider any ethical process issues.  Individual applications may be discussed to inform policy decisions.  Reviewers may also raise individual application discussion within the Committee to resolve complex questions or issues with the application.  The Committee does not normally interview the researcher or request their attendance when the proposal is considered, although it may invite the researcher to attend if it is believed that this would assist the Committee.  Members of the Committee are not involved in any discussion of applications where they are supervisors or researchers.

In exceptional circumstances the Committee may refer to the University Ethics Committee for guidance on an application.


How the Research Ethics Committee decides

Staff and Postgraduate Research Student reviews are conducted electronically by two members of the Research Ethics Committee, one of whom leads the process.  Researchers may request the opportunity to address the reviewers by submitting written queries/information to be forwarded to the reviewers by the administrator.  Members of the Committee must withdraw from consideration of any submission in which they are researchers or supervisors.

The Committee may:

  • Authorise the research to proceed without requiring any amendment. Any such authorisation is granted on the basis of the project as stated on the research submission. Any changes must be notified to the Committee (see Amendments) and normally approval obtained before proceeding.
  • Require clarification or modification of parts of the research submission.  The amendments will generally be returned to the original reviewers for confirmation.
  • Defer consideration of a proposal if substantial modifications are required or where significant additional information is required until that information is supplied and reviewed.
  • Reject the research proposal in whole or in part.
  • Revoke approval of the research if dissatisfied with the conduct of the research or the researchers.
  • Refer University students or staff through the University's disciplinary procedures if issues of concern arise from the research.

As part of their assistance to researchers, the Research Ethics Committee will ordinarily give reasons for requiring modification to proposals, rejecting them or for revoking approval.

The Research Ethics Committee may call for reports on the conduct of the research during projects and on completion to help the Research Ethics Committee in formulating its guidance and so that the Committee can be assured that projects continue to conform to approved ethical standards.  This will not in any way reduce the responsibility of the researcher to ensure such conformity.

Full details of the online system application process can be seen here: Online Research Ethics System: Approval Process (pdf)


Amendments to approved application

If changes are required to a research project after ethical approval has been granted the College Research Ethics Committee must be notified and the changes approved.

Changes may include: the study design, addition of a new participant group, procedures undertaken by participants, change in key/senior supervisory staff, or an extension of the overall approval period.

A Request for Amendments to Approved Ethics Application form is available to download from the Ethics Forms section. This should be emailed to the general email inbox. The form should be submitted with any accompanying amended documentation, such as Participant Information Sheet, Consent Form etc.

If the original application pre-dated 21st September 2015, consideration of further use of the data may be recommended. The section in Information for Applicants: Data Sharing for Staff and Postgraduate Research Students should be referred to. 

Please note that amendments involving an extended timeline may be subject to additional scrutiny and at the discretion of the College Research Ethics Committee a new application may be required.

Where possible the amendments will be forwarded to the original reviewers for consideration, they may request some clarification before confirming acceptance of the changes proposed. 

Only once confirmation of approval is received can the project utilise these amended provisions. Failure to obtain this approval means that you are not in receipt of ethical approval, which could have serious consequences.


School Ethics Fora

Full details of how each individual School Ethics Forum reviews applications is available here: School Ethics Fora

‌The School Ethics Fora are a subset of the College Research Ethics Committee and as such, within the School context, have the same powers in relation to ethics applications.

The Ethics Forum may:

  • Authorise the research to proceed without requiring any amendment.  Any such authorisation is granted on the basis of the project as stated on the research submission.  Any changes must be notified to the Ethics Forum (see Amendments) and normally approval obtained before proceeding.
  • Require clarification or modification of parts of the research submission.  The amendments will generally be returned to the original reviewers for confirmation.
  • Defer consideration of a proposal if substantial modifications are required or where significant additional information is required until that information is supplied and reviewed.
  • Reject the research proposal in whole or in part.
  • Revoke 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.

As part of their assistance to researchers, the Ethics Forum will ordinarily give reasons for requiring modification to proposals, rejecting them or for revoking approval.

The Ethics Forum may call for reports on the conduct of the research during projects and on completion so that the Ethics Forum can be assured that projects continue to conform to approved ethical standards. This will not in any way reduce the responsibility of the researcher to ensure such conformity.


University Ethics Committee

The University Ethics Committee is responsible for producing guidelines for the conduct of research with human participants and for ensuring that all Colleges have in place procedures for the consideration and conduct of such research. It may also consider and give guidance on research referred to it from Colleges and hear appeals on decisions made by Colleges. The Committee meets five times a year and the Convenors of the College Ethics Committees attend.

University Ethics Committee

Ethics Procedures for University Colleges (pdf)