Research ethics and integrity
Frequently asked questions
Read our frequently asked questions to see if you can find the answers you need.
Q: I'm an undergraduate, do I need ethical approval for my research?
A: Ethical approval is required. This will either be dealt with by your Module Leader on a block approval basis, or via application to your department ethics committee. All research will be monitored by your module lead who will advise if further steps are necessary. It is therefore a requirement that you discuss any proposals with your tutor, or supervisor and follow the ethical protocols for your module before undertaking any research project.
Q: I am an undergraduate or on a taught postgraduate course, how do I get ethical approval?
A: Your module lead should be able to give advice on the process for ethical approval. This may be done as a block ethical approval by your module lead in the online system or via an individual ethics form which is reviewed at module level.
Q: I'm studying for my Masters, do I need ethical approval for my research?
A: Ethical approval is required. This will either be dealt with by your Module Leader on a block approval basis, via application to your department ethics committee, or if doing a research thesis you will need ethical clearance from your subject area committee/s. All research will be monitored by your module lead who will advise if further steps are necessary. It is therefore a requirement that you discuss any proposals with your tutor, or supervisor and follow the ethical protocols for your module or programme before undertaking any research project.
Q: How do I apply for ethical approval?
A: Staff and postgraduate researchers must discuss their proposals with their supervisor or manager first. With their agreement, if you are a member of staff, a Masters by Research student, or completing your PhD please use the HAPLO Ethics Monitor online system to complete and submit your ethics application.
All others should use the Ethical Approval Application Form. Please request this from the Research Office (ResearchOffice@yorksj.ac.uk) and submit this to your School Research Ethics Committee (SREC).
Q: My research project has no ethical risk. Do I still need to seek approval?
A: All research projects at York St John must have ethical approval before the project is undertaken. Please follow the process for approval on the Process for Research Ethics Approval page.
Q: I want to work with the NHS. What do I need to do?
A: You must speak to your manager/supervisor first. Obtaining approval from both the NHS and York St John can be a lengthy process and both must approve before any research can take place. We have created a new Working with the NHS page to deal with this process.
Q: I have concerns about the methods used by a researcher, what should I do?
A: York St John is fully committed to ensuring the very highest standards of research integrity. If you do not feel able to raise these concerns with your own supervisor or manager, please see the York St John Whistleblowing Policy for details of how to escalate your concerns.
Q: I want to work with research participants, what should I know?
A: You must obtain consent from your participants, or the person acting on their behalf. A new Participation Information and Consent Form has been created which should simplify this process. Nevertheless, you must stay within the guidelines. The School Research Ethics Committee will review all cases and may pass this to the University Research Ethics and Integrity Sub Committee to review. You must not undertake any research until approval has been given.
Q: I want to give my participants a voucher, or cash reward for taking part, but I have no money, what can I do?
A: The Research Office can, in certain circumstances, allow postgraduate researchers to make a claim from the 'PGR Research Support Fund' to cover the costs. Details can be found on the Research Office Support for Researchers page. Please note that funding is not guaranteed. Staff members may be able to seek financial assistance from their school. Please contact your School Research and Knowledge Transfer Lead.
Q: I want to apply for external funding to finance my project, what do I need to know?
A: York St John actively supports external funding applications. You must contact the Research Office at ResearchGrants@yorksj.ac.uk who will provide all the necessary support.
Q: I'm a member of staff and I'd like to gain experience on a School Research Ethics Committee as an observer, how can I arrange this?
A: Please contact your SREC Chair. If approved, this would be limited to a 12 month period in the first instance but during this time you could attend as many, or as few, meetings as your time allowed.