Whenever the University is involved in any research activities, whether these activities are funded, unfunded or internally funded, then appropriate insurance cover must be in place. Involvement can mean, for example:
- where the University has designed the research project,
- where the University is managing the research project,
- if the University is receiving funding for the research, or
- the research involves University staff, students and/or its facilities.
Please note that it is unlikely that another institution's e.g. NHS, other HEI or commercial organisations, insurance policies will cover research undertaken by the University, even in cases where the other institution is the lead. Therefore the University must ensure all its research activities are covered under its policies. The same applies to the University's insurance cover - our cover is unlikely to cover any third parties, and it is the responsibility of the third party to ensure they have appropriate insurance in place.
The University’s insurance covers staff who have honorary contracts for the research they undertake as part of their role at the University but not for that element of the project which is undertaken outside the scope of their role at the University, i.e. where the honorary member of staff is employed by an NHS Trust then the University insurance would not cover clinical or surgical procedures that individual performs as an NHS Trust employee. Where a honorary member of staff is acting as the Chief Investigator for a study it is advisable to contact your Departmental R&IS Officer to ensure that the project is covered under the University's existing policy.
Whether research involves human participants or not, the principal investigator using all appropriate guidelines, will still need to consider whether any ethical approval or additional insurance cover is required before the University can accept the award. Where such approval is required, evidence that approvals and/or additional cover are in place will be necessary before any research can commence.
For further information on the University's insurance policies, please see Insurance.
It is important to note that indemnity and insurance are two separate things and should not be confused with one another.
An indemnity is an undertaking by one party (Indemnifying party) to compensate for (or to provide protection against) injury, loss, incurred penalties, or from a contingent liability, suffered by another party (Indemnified party).
If the University gives an indemnity that is not covered by its insurance and there is a breach of contract then the University would be required to meet the cost of the indemnity out of its own assets.
The University has a number of insurance policies in place to cover some types of indemnities, however there are some indemnities which are not covered or are unable to be covered, it is therefore essential that R&IS check any contractual indemnity clauses to ensure these are covered by the University's existing insurance policies.
IRAS Applications (Insurance and Indemnity)
For information on the standard responses to the insurance/indemnity questions for IRAS applications please see Indemnity on the University's web pages.