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Ethics and Research Governance

Covid-19 - Academic Ethics and Remote Research

Please click on the following link for important information regarding the agreed guidance on procedures for Academic Ethics and Remote Research.

These are changes to elements of the academic ethics approvals procedure for the period of campus closure due to Covid-19, and were agreed in a meeting with the PVC Research and Chairs of Ethics on 2nd April. They will apply to all academic ethics applications from staff and students until campus closure and social distancing measures have changed. Please feel free to circulate more widely as you feel is appropriate.

If you have any questions about this document or the academic ethics processes, please send them to the Research & Knowledge Exchange Ethics team at ethics@salford.ac.uk, or contact your panel Chair, or speak to the Research Governance Officer, Rachael McKittrick, via ethics@salford.ac.uk or r.c.mckittrick@salford.ac.uk. Ethics@salford.ac.ukis a new email address and will eventually replace the individual panel mailboxes (we are aiming by the September of the 2020-21 academic year); any emails sent to the individual mailboxes will continue to be received and responded to but we are phasing these out, to come into the line with online academic ethics applications and assessments tool.

What are research ethics?

Research ethics are a set of principles addressing how researchers and research organisations should conduct themselves when dealing with research participants, their data or tissue, other researchers and colleagues, the users of their research and society in general.

The process of ethical review is not intended to impede research activity, but to support the researcher in considering the ethical issues and how to manage them, the process also addresses any potential risks to both the researcher and any participants.

Why are research ethics important?

It is important to conduct research in line with ethical standards for a number of reasons:

  • Ethics is an essential element of good research governance    
  • It helps to support detailed research design and project planning – leading to better experiments and questionnaires    
  • It is not restricted to medical trials - all types of research must consider ethical issues    
  • It is vital to consider the ethical consequences of research to avoid bad practice, harm or stress, loss of data, etc.    
  • Failure to gain the appropriate approval could be viewed as research misconduct and may have serious repercussions.    

When ethics are considered, this should ensure that the work is acceptable to the research community and other users of the research results.

Ethics Approval

The University requires all research involving human participants, animals, human or animal tissue, or sensitive data conducted by its academic staff, research degree candidates and taught UG and PG students be subjected to ethics panels scrutiny. This means that most researchers within the University are required to apply for ethics approval from the relevant Ethics Panel before commencing data collection.  

Ethics applications take a minimum of 4-6 weeks to turn around and this should be considered in relation to deadlines and data collection.  

Research Governance

The University of Salford is committed to excellent research with impact, conducted to the highest standards of research integrity. The University is a signatory to the HEFCE Concordat to Support Research Integrity, and our procedures and processes are intended to embed integrity and ethical conduct into all our research practices.  

Read more on research governance...

Applying for Ethics Approval