Staff and Postgraduate Research Students

The College Research Ethics Committee considers staff and postgraduate research (PhD/EdD) student applications. 

See Data Management Advice 8 April 2020 (Word Doc)  in light of restrictions due to COVID-19

Application forms and notes on how to complete them are available below, please consult the Information for Applicants section of this website for specific guidance on ethics issues.  See Application Process Summary for details on submission process.

An Ethics Application Form, Participant Information Sheet and Privacy Notice are mandatory in all applications. For all research proposals involving the collection, processing and/or storage of data derived from human participants a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) is now also required to be prepared. The Research Ethics Committee reviews how data is handled and may comment on a DPIA if this is provided but this does not constitute signing it off. The DPIA is the responsibility of the researcher and advice should be sought from the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Office. Projects that are considered high risk may require the DPIA to be reviewed by the DPFIO. See Risk Classifications.

Retrospective approval cannot be given and any data collected without ethical approval cannot be used. It is important that you allow enough time for your application.  Applications should be submitted at least 6 weeks in advance of the intended start date for data collection to allow for review and any changes required.

Ethics Forms and Guidance Notes: Staff and PGR

Important Note: in all cases applications will be returned if Ethical Risks section is not fully completed and/or signatures not provided both there and at Declaration at end of application form.  

An Ethics Application Form, Participant Information Sheet and Privacy Notice are mandatory in all applications. For all research proposals involving the collection, processing and/or storage of data derived from human participants a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) is now also required to be prepared. It is recommended that you contact Data Protection & Freedom of Information Office for guidance on this. (Data Protection Impact Assessments)

You should refer to the Online System Guides in the section below for assistance in uploading your application.

Templates and guidance notes for application documents are given below, all are in Word format.

Application Forms and Notes

Staff and PGR Ethics Application Form

Notes Version Staff and PGR Ethics Application Form

Protocol for Research Dealing with Non Standard Data

Staff and PGR Protocol for Research with Non Standard Data

With Notes Staff and PGR Protocol for Research with Non Standard Data

Amendments Form (for Approved Applications)

Staff and PGR Student Request for Amendments to an Approved Application

Request for Expedited Review Form

Request for Expedited Review

Risk Guidance and Risk Assessment Form

Risk Guidance February 2020

Graduate School PGR Risk Assessment Form

Sample Participant Information Sheet and Notes

Staff and PGR Sample Participant Information Sheet

With Notes Staff and PGR Sample Participant Information Sheet

Privacy Notice

CoSS Privacy Notice V1

Data Protection Impact Assessment Template

DPIA Template V2 May 2022  

Data Management Plan Template

Data Management Plan Template for PGR Students

Data Management Plan Notes

Child Plain Language Statement Templates

Child Plain Language Statement FAQ Style College

Child Plain Language Statement College

Sample Consent Form and Notes

Consent Form Sample 1

Consent Form Sample 2

With Notes Consent Form

Easy Read Forms

Easy Read Plain Language Statement

Easy Read Consent Form

 

Amendments to Approved Applications: Staff and PGR

If you find you need to make changes to your research project after you have received ethical approval you must submit an Amendments Request Form to the College Research Ethics Committee (CREC) and ensure that the changes are approved before you apply them to your project.

Minor Amendments

Minor amendments which do not alter or bring any additional ethical considerations only need to be considered by one reviewer and therefore can be processed within 5 working days, Minor amendments include:

  • changes to key research team members,
  • changes to the timescale during which during which the data collection will take place or extension of overall approval period,
  • minor changes to consent materials eg. to update contact details of reflect changes to the approval dates, or,
  • inclusion of new research sites and/or participant groups, with the caveat that new sites and/or participant groups are similar to those already approved and nothing else will change, eg. the same protocol will be used and already approved documents will be used.

Major Amendments

Major amendments which modify your original research design in ways that affects the ethical issues associated with the project require more intense scrutiny, involving two members of the CREC, and therefore may take up to 10 working days to provide a response. Examples of major amendments include:

  • moving from in person to online methods of data collection, or
  • adding a new participant group to include potentially vulnerable people.

Please note: If the review team consider the changes proposed to amount to what could be considered a different project to that originally approved, they will require that a new ethics application be submitted through the online Research Ethics System. If you are unsure whether the level of changes proposed constitute major amendments or will require a new ethics application, you should seek advice from the College Ethics Lead, Dr Susan A Batchelor, in the first instance.

An Amendments Request Form is available to download from the Ethics Forms section above. This should be emailed to the general ethics email inbox: socsci-ethics@glasgow.ac.uk  The form should be submitted with any accompanying amended documentation, such as a Participant Information Sheet, Consent Form etc.

Where possible, amendments requests will be forwarded to the original reviewers for consideration. Please note that the reviewers 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.

Expedited Reviews

Expedited review

The College of Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee operates an expedited review process for time critical studies. This normally only applies to staff research which has strong public health grounds to proceed promptly.

Enquiries as to whether your project qualifies for expedited review should be directed to the College Ethics Lead, Dr Susan Batchelor, in the first instance: susan.batchelor@gla.ac.uk.

If the College Ethics Lead approves your application for expedited review, please fill in the Expedited Review Request Form, available from Forms above, and upload it as a supporting document (labelled EXPEDITED_REVIEW) together with your application documents. This form requires an endorsement from either your Head of Subject or the College Dean of Research.

The same review standards and requirements apply as for regular applications; however, the reviewers will endeavour to provide you with an initial response within one working week. 

Please note: applications submitted for expedited review without prior approval of the College Ethics Lead will likely result in a time-consuming reject and resubmit decision.

Late Submissions: Staff and PGR

Applications that are submitted less than six weeks before the data collection is due to begin may not be considered within the requested turnaround period, save in exceptional circumstances, such as applicant illness, or funder requirements.  Delay in starting research will not normally be accepted as an exceptional circumstance for expediting the processing of the application. 

Responsibility: Staff and PGR

It is the student’s responsibility to submit applications timeously and in the proper format. Once you have received your ethical approval document, you are required to keep this. You will be asked to include it with your thesis, not in the form of an Appendix, but loose inside the front cover so that it can be checked and then removed to ensure anonymity for the marking phase.

 It is the Supervisor’s responsibility to:

  • Communicate the importance of ethics in research to students
  • Support the development of a full and sensible application, with focus on risk and risk minimization
  • Guide students in keeping to the approved project, dealing properly with any amendments
  • Inculcate an attitude of respect for ethical principles in research

 It is the Staff researcher’s responsibility to:

Ensure that applications are made as timeously as possible, taking into account the requirements of the ethical review process.  You should also ensure that you retain your ethical approval document for your own records as this may be required by funders or research supervisory bodies.

Supervisor Notes: PGR

When making an application, supervisors should ensure that the following points are considered:

  • How the welfare of participants and researchers will be ensured and that no harm is done either to them, or to the reputation of the University of Glasgow, funders and/or partners.
  • How confidentiality will be ensured and if appropriate, anonymity.
  • How can voluntary participation be ensured?
  • Making sure consent is informed and documented, usually in writing.
  • How long will the data be retained for and how will it be stored securely.
  • Is it appropriate to destroy the data and if so, when.
  • If the research is international, does it comply with ethical guidelines in the country they are working in as well as with University of Glasgow guidelines?

Most postgraduate research students are applying for ethical approval for their thesis research.  If you are a supervisor of research students, your involvement and participation in the ethical approval process is very important. 

You should consult the Risk Guidance February 2020 (Word Doc) which is available from the Forms Section above.

If your student is conducting data collection away from Glasgow, they are required to complete a Graduate School PGR Risk Assessment Form, which is available from the Forms section above. This should form part of the research preparation.

As supervisor you should discuss research ethics with the student as relevant to their particular study and help them to fill in the application form.

You may find it helpful to refer to the College Ethics Reviewer Notes for more detail on what the reviewers will be looking for in the application.

Application Process: Postgraduate Research Students

Once a student has created their application online in the online Research Ethics System, it should be forwarded to their named supervisor, who can now complete their consideration of the application.

As supervisor you must:

  1. Complete the statement on Ethical Risks and confirm that you are submitting the application for review by signing and dating this section. 
  2. Complete the Declaration end section confirming the acceptance of code of practice by signing and dating this section. 
  3. Once satisfied with the application, submit it for review to the College Research Ethics Committee through the online Research Ethics System.

The application will be returned if steps 1 and 2 are not completed or if the application does not include the appropriate supporting documentation (e.g. Participant Information Sheet (also known as Plain Language Statement), Privacy Notice, Consent Form, Interview Questions etc.

In the ethics review process there are two stages:  

1.   Administrative review: this is intended to check:

  • That the application form is fully completed, including the supervisor requirements.
  • That the dates allow sufficient time for application processing.
  • That all supporting documents are uploaded.
  • That the supporting documents provide the required information and that there is a good standard of presentation in documents to be given to potential participants.

The administrator may return the application to request amendments to fulfil these requirements. Once these details have been approved; the administrator forwards the application for full academic (ethical) review.

2.   Ethical review: two reviewers are assigned to each application:  A Committee Reviewer and a Lead Reviewer. 

  1. The Committee reviewer has two weeks to review and upload their comments.  The application is then passed to the
  2. Lead Reviewer who has a further one week to collate both their comments and complete the final review and outcome.

Please note that in certain circumstances, this process may take longer, such as if further guidance is sought from the University Ethics Committee, or other advisor in relation to specific issues within the application.

Online System Guides for PGR Students

There are specific guides to the steps in the online process provided here; they are also available in the Help section of the online Research Ethics System.

You should create your application using the forms and guidance available on the ethics website. Once you have uploaded your application, your supervisor is required to check, approve, sign and forward the application for review.

If your application is returned at any stage, guidance notes are provided here to assist in the resubmission process. 

(All PDF format)

How_To_Create_A_Student_Ethics_Application

How_to_Re-submit_a_Student_Application_Returned_by_Supervisor

How_To_Re-submit_A_Student_Application_Returned_by_Administrator

How_To_Re-submit_A_Student_Application_Returned_by_Committee

How to Delete a Student Draft Application

Online System Guides for Supervisors

There are specific guides to the steps in the online process provided here; they are also available in the Help section of the online Research Ethics System.

The student should create their application using the forms and guidance available on the ethics website. Once they have uploaded their application, you are required to check, approve, sign and forward the application for review.

If the application is returned at any stage, guidance notes are provided here to assist in the resubmission process. 

(All PDF format)

How_To_Supervise_A_Draft_Student_Ethics_Application

How to Supervise a Student Application Returned by Administrator

How to Supervise Student Application Returned by Committee

How_To_Supervise_Deletion_of_ a_Student_Ethics_Application

How_To_Supervise_Withdrawing_A_Student_Ethics_Application

Online System Guides for Staff

There are specific guides to the steps in the online process provided here; they are also available in the Help section of the online Research Ethics System.

The application should be prepared using the forms and guidance notes available on the ethics website. Staff applications are sent directly to the ethics administrator for initial review.

If your application is returned at any stage, guidance notes are provided here to assist in the resubmission process. 

(All PDF format)

How_to_Create_A_Staff_Ethics_Application

How to Delete a Staff Draft Application

How_To_Re-submit_A_Staff_Application_Returned_by_Administrator

How_To_Re-submit_A_Staff_Application_Returned_by_Committee

How to Withdraw a Submitted Staff Application

Appeals: Staff and PGR Students

If you are dissatisfied with the decision made by the College Research Ethics Committee, you should in the first instance discuss this with the Convenor/Ethics Officer.  If discussion is unable to resolve the issue, an appeal may be made to the University Ethics Committee. However the University Committee will not normally interfere with a decision to require revisions to the project, such as to amend an information sheet or consent form. The University Ethics Committee is concerned with the general principles of natural justice, reasonableness and fairness of the decision made by the College or School Committees.

The University Ethics Committee will provide general advice to the College Research Ethics Committee and will refer the matter back to them with that advice for them to make a decision.