Research ethics

Ethical approval at Anglia Ruskin University

Our research ethics policy and procedures are determined by the Research Ethics Sub Committee (RESC), which includes representatives from all our faculties and lay members.

Full details of our University's ethical approval system can be found on the Research Ethics pages, where you'll also find:

  • Research Ethics Application Forms (updated September 2016)
  • Anglia Ruskin University's Research Ethics Policy (September 2016) 
  • Code of Practice for applying for Ethical Approval at Anglia Ruskin University (September 2016, version 5.8)
  • Question-Specific Advice for Research Ethics Application Form (Stage 1) (September 2016, version 2.6 )
  • Question-Specific Advice for Research Ethics Application Form (Stage 2) (August 2016, version 1.0)
  • Information about Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks
  • Risk assessments
  • Insurance questionnaires 
  • Information about overseas travel insurance.

All research conducted by members of Anglia Ruskin University – staff, undergraduate, masters and doctorate students (including students studying at associate colleges) – is subject to the same procedure.

General information about the ethics approval system

All research – undergraduate, Masters, doctorate and staff – is subject to ethical review at the proposal stage. We adopt a risk-based approach to ethical review.

Our research ethics application form (stage 1) must be completed by all researchers, except for those solely using animal subjects, who should complete the animal ethics checklist. Our ethics application form (stage 1), and the associated question specific advice, is designed to help you:

  • define the ethical risks associated with your research
  • explain how those risks will be minimised
  • identify the route you should follow to obtain ethical review of your research proposal.

Please note there may still be still be other types of permission or approval you need to obtain, even though you don't need to show this to the ethics committee. View examples here.

If your research falls into the highest risk category, you'll need to provide further information using our ethics application form (stage 2). Your proposal will be subject to more intensive review. Some areas of research may need to be considered by an external ethical review panel, for example research involving patients in the NHS.

Please factor in time for obtaining ethical approval before starting your research.

Please make sure that:

  • your ethics application form stage 1 (and, only if appropriate, ethics application form stage 2) has been fully completed and signed
  • the formatting of the document is set correctly before submission (eg so the flow chart on page 4 fits on one page)
  • additional signatures have been obtained, if appropriate, eg supervisor
  • there's evidence you've completed the relevant ethics training. Undergraduate and taught postgraduate students must complete our online research ethics quiz. Research students and staff should complete either the online Ethics 1: Good Research Practice (Epigeum) or attend the RDCS Introduction to Research Ethics and Integrity (in Human Research) course. If you're a research student or staff member and your research involves human participants, you'll also need to complete Ethics 2: Working with Human Subjects (Epigeum)
  • participant consent forms and participant information sheets, where appropriate, are submitted with the application form(s).

Please check with RDCS for the most up-to-date version of these forms and for any additional permissions or approvals that may be needed, such as DBS checks, insurance questionnaires or overseas travel approval.

Submitting completed forms

Our Faculty Research Ethics Panel (FREP) or Departmental Research Ethics Panel (DREP) conduct ethical reviews of research proposals for staff and students. 

Submit your completed ethics application forms to the relevant DREP Secretary for all risk category 1 (green) or risk category 2 (amber), and to the FREP Secretary for all risk category 3 (red).

Research students – research proposal approval

Research students should complete a Research Proposal Ethics Checklist through Progress Platform and submit this with research proposal documentation. Please be aware this is a checklist only; following the approval of your research proposal you'll need to submit a research ethics application form (stage 1, and if applicable stage 2 as outlined above).

How to encrypt your computer files

If you'll be storing personal data that can identify an individual, you must comply with the Data Protection Act. If such data is to be stored on a computer, FREP guidance is that access to the computer should be password protected, and any relevant files must be encrypted where appropriate. See our guidance document below.

How to encrypt your computer files

Professional bodies

Area of research

Professional body


Educational Research

British Educational Research Association

General Research Ethics

National Research Ethics Service (moving to Health Research Authority Jan 2015 - see below)

Economic and Social Research

Economic and Social Research Council Framework for Research Ethics

General Research Ethics

Health Research Authority

General Research Ethics

Association of Research Ethics Committees

General Research Ethics

The Research Ethics Guidebook


British Psychological Society

Animal Behaviour

Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

Biomedical Research

Wellcome Trust

General Research Ethics

Market Research Society

Engineering Research

Online ethics center for engineering and research

Animals and Research

National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals In Research NC3Rs (wildlife research page)


British Sociological Association


British Society for Criminology


The Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth

Social Research

Social Research Association

Medical Research

Medical Research Council

Humanities and Social Sciences

British Academy for Humanities and the Social Sciences

Engineering Research

Engineering Council

Socio-Economic Research

RESPECT Code of Practice for Socio-Economic Research

Information technology

The Chartered Institute for IT - BCS Code of Conduct

Social Research

Government Social Research Service

Internet Research

Association of Internet Researchers

Socio-Legal Research

Socio-Legal Studies Association


Royal College of Nursing

Engineering Research

Royal Academy of Engineering

General Research Ethics

UK Research Integrity Office

General Research Ethics

Ethics in Research and Publication (Elsevier guide)

General Research Ethics - Children and young people

National Children's Bureau

Environmental Research

Natural Environment Research Council

Sport and Exercise Research

The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES)

Nursing and Midwifery

Nursing and Midwifery Council