Students and staff in the Department of Computer Science must be familiar with the University's policy and procedures for Research Governance and Ethics and research undertaken must conform to the University's Research Code of Practice. This applies to all projects of whatever nature. Students and supervisors should complete the Research Integrity online training.
Ethical approval is required to safeguard researchers conducting a study and also protects the rights, safety, dignity and well-being of research participants. Obtaining ethical approval also facilitates and promotes ethical research that is of potential benefit to participants, science and society.
All research that involves human participants, their tissue, and/or their data, is required to obtain ethical approval from an appropriate research ethics committee. Studies undertaken within the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Medicine fall under the remit of the University's Biomedical and Scientific Research Ethics Committee (BSREC).
The following types of student project do not require ethical review.
- Student projects with primarily an educational purpose, for example asking peers or family members to test software as part of your course. Such projects should not include any form of deception or coercion or involve vulnerable groups (e.g., schoolchildren).
- Projects that involve secondary analysis of publicly available data (e.g. systematic reviews) do not require research ethics review. Please note this does not extend to the use of social media or forums in research. Although these data may appear ‘publicly available’ for researchers to access, there are ethical implications that need to be considered when using these data in research.
If in doubt, please contact the BSREC Secretary viawho will be able to advise whether research ethics review is required. You may also contact Mike Joy or Jane Sinclair.
All other research projects involving human participants, their tissue, and/or their data should be submitted to BSREC for review. This includes secondary analysis of previously collected anonymised data that is not publicly available.
Please see "How to Apply for BSREC Ethical Approval" which lists all BSREC application forms, templates and guidance documents for applying for approval. Your documents must be properly modified so they are completely accurate for your own project, and you must use the current BSREC forms. If in doubt, and you are a student, speak to your supervisor in the first instance. If there are any further questions about how to complete the BSREC documentation which your supervisor is unable to answer, please speak to either Mike Joy or Jane Sinclair.