Non-clinical research ethics application procedure

Guidance on the non-clinical research ethics application procedure.

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All researchers should familiarise themselves with and take account of General Data Protection Regulation before submitting an application for ethics review and approval.

Applicants will need to read and follow the University of Dundee Code of Practice for Non-Clinical Research Ethics on Human Participants

All research projects involving human participants will ned to have appropriate ethical approval before they begin. To determine whether your project requires ethical approval from a School Research Ethics Committee (SREC) please complete Checklist 1: does the Project Require Ethical Approval?. If you are still unsure whether your project requires ethical approval, please contact the Convener of the relevant SREC.

Checklist 2: Is your project ‘low’ or ‘medium’ or ‘high’ risk? will be used to determine whether your application is low, medium or high risk. Depending on the risk level you will be required to use one of two forms. Form A is required for low risk applications, Form B needs to be used if the application is medium or high risk.

All applications need to contain the following documents:

  • Checklist 2: Is your project ‘low’ or ‘medium’ or ‘high’ risk?
  • Form A: Low Risk Application or Form B: Medium/High Risk Application
  • Participant Information Sheet (if required)
  • Consent Form (if required)
  • Participant Debriefing Sheet (if required)
  • A copy of any non-validated questionnaires/survey instruments (if any are used in the project)
  • An outline of questions/themes for interviews/focus groups (if conducted)
  • Relevant permissions or covering letters (if needed)

Health and Safety

If a researcher wishes to undertake any face to face research, then a health and safety risk assessment needs to be built into the research proposal following University COVID-19 guidance. For staff, the health and safety risk assessment form should be completed by the researcher and approved by their line manager. For students, the health and safety risk assessment form should be completed by the student and approved by the supervisor. Researchers should seek advice from the Health and Safety Advisor in their School. Each health and safety risk assessment does not need to be sent to the central Health and Safety team, however the Head of Health and Safety would be happy to look at/assist as required. 

Application Procedure Contacts

Please submit the application form, Checklist 2 and any other required documents by e-mail to the relevant SREC. 

From 1st August 2022 the single new School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law will formally be established, however, please continue to contact the relevant discipline (Humanities, Social Sciences, Education and Social Work) until further notice.


The research must not start until ethical approval has been issued.

You should hear from the reviewers within 3 weeks of submission of your application, but reviews may take longer during busy times.

Changes to Approved Studies

Approval of a study applies only to the submitted documents. If researchers wish to make any subsequent changes, they will need to complete one of the following forms and submit it to the relevant SREC.

Ethical Standards

All researchers must abide by the University of Dundee ‌.

The University may audit projects to ensure that ethical standards are being maintained.  Researchers should also follow the guidelines of other relevant bodies.