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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: You should not be undertaking research (as an individual) requiring ethical approval. All research will be monitored by your module lead who will escalate on your behalf if necessary. It is therefore essential that you discuss any proposals 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: It is highly unlikely that you will be undertaking research (as an individual) requiring ethical approval. All research will be monitored by your course lead who will escalate on your behalf. It is therefore essential that you discuss any proposals before undertaking any research project.

Q: How do I apply for ethical approval?

A: Staff and postgraduate students must discuss their proposals with their supervisor or manager first. With their agreement they should then complete the Ethical Approval Application Form and submit this to their School Research Ethics Committee (SREC).

Q: I thought the application process was online?

A: From Spring 2022, York St John will switch to using an electronic form which will greatly reduce the burden on most applicants. You can obtain more information by contacting your Ethics Lead or the Research Office.

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 Consent and Participation Form (staff intranet) 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.

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