Policy roadmap

We have a number of policies that must be read and understood before undertaking a research project, whether the project is externally or internally funded.

On this page

1. Common interest and public good

Before you undertake any research project you must read the policy statement: Policy to govern the acceptance of external research funding. The purpose of this policy is to establish a set of principles and procedures to prevent the acceptance of research or related funding by the University from awarding bodies whose activities are judged to be counter to the common interest and public good. 

2. Conflict of interest

The University has established a Code of Practice on Conflict of Interest to help you identify whether or not your proposed research could cause a conflict of interest and to outline a procedure for disclosure of any perceived or potential conflict. The Code of Practice must be read before undertaking any research project.

3. Good practice in research

Integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership are amongst the essential principles which the University expects staff to adopt when undertaking any form of research. In order to familiarise yourself with the University's requirements in this regard you are required to read the Code of Good Practice in Research. 

4. Research partner due diligence

Much of the research undertaken at the University is done so in collaboration with partners in the UK and overseas. In order to ensure compliance with funder terms and conditions and national and international rules and regulations, it is necessary to carry out due diligence on research partners to understand and address any financial, regulatory and reputational risks involved in carrying out collaborative research and transferring funds to partners. Proportional due diligence will be carried out in accordance with this policy (and the associated guidance and procedures) to identify and manage risks associated with working with partners on collaborative research projects.

5. Policy for non-clinical research involving human participants

If your proposed research project will include the testing, observing or collecting of personal data from humans but will not involve any clinical/clinically related activities it will be governed by the Policy for non-clinical research involving human participants.

In addition to complying with the Policy, you must obtain ethical approval for your proposed research project before it begins. The ethical review and approval of non-clinical research involving human participants proposed by staff and students is overseen at the University of Dundee by six School Research Ethics Committees (SRECs). The SRECs report to the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC), which provides oversight, monitoring and guidance.

If your proposed project will involve any clinical/clinically related activities please read Policy Check 6: Clinical and Clinically Related Research.

6. Clinical and clinically related research

If your proposed research will include any of the clinical/clinically related activities listed below, the policies and standard operating procedures (SOPs) which govern it are available on the website of the Tayside Medical Science Centre (TASC) along with a route map for planning new clinical research. 

Clinical/clinically related activities includes any research activity which involves:

  • the investigation of the safety or efficacy of a medicine, foodstuff, medical device or placebo in humans
  • patients or their carers in the NHS or a social care organisation
  • the collection or use of human tissue samples, including those obtained from a tissue bank
  • access to collections of patient data
  • use of any NHS resources including staff time, clinical support services or NHS facilities

With respect to the undertaking of clinical trials of investigational medicinal products (CTIMPs), the University delegates particular responsibilities to NHS Tayside which are listed at: Governance of clinical trials.

TASC combines the research management services of the University and NHS Tayside and is a node of Health Services Scotland (HSS). Staff within TASC are available to help with sponsorship approvals, NHS Tayside permissions, trial or study management and governance or legal enquiry related to clinical or clinically related research. TASC is housed on level 3 of the Ninewells Hospital site and is co-located with the East of Scotland Research Ethics Service (EoSRES).

7.Use of human tissue within clinical and non-clinical research studies

The University advocates the highest standards in the management, storage, and use of human tissue within medical research. This policy should be consulted before commencing a new research project as it describes a set of principles that researchers must apply throughout their research in accordance with standards of best practice. It is the responsibility of every member of the research group that will likely come into contact with human tissue to be aware of these standards as this will strengthen a chain of trust between participants and the research team.

Staff collecting, distributing, receiving and/or storing human tissue for internal or external use in research must register activity via the Tayside Biorepository tissue bank. There is an established process in place for registration of human tissue samples that are surplus to NHS R&D approvals. A pilot is being carried out to support those researchers who are required to register healthy volunteer and imported material. Please contact Dr Sharon King, Tayside Biorepository Human Tissue Governance Manager, to discuss registration of your human tissue samples.

8. Use of animals in research

‌Whilst the University wishes to minimize the use of living animals in research wherever possible, it is recognised that procedures that involve animals continue to be necessary for the undertaking of many research projects. Should your proposed project involve the use of animals you must familiarise yourself with the contents of the University’s Policy for the Use of Animals in Teaching and Research.

The University Policy reflects and complements the law and associated Home Office Guidance. Before beginning work in a University facility, you must agree to abide by this Policy, and any local rules that may exist, by printing out and signing the associated form.

The University Policy requires authors and reviewers of manuscripts to abide by the Animal research: reporting of in vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) guidelines to ensure that experiments involving animals are published in sufficient detail for their validity to be assessed.

The University's statement on the use of animals in research describes the process for ensuring that the welfare "costs" that may be experienced by animals during your research project are minimized and consistent with legislative demands.  You should also familiarise yourself with this statement. 

If you have not already done so, please contact Biological Services (biolserv-director@dundee.ac.uk) for further advice on the ethical, legal and practical issues that will have to be addressed before your project can start.

9. Open research

Consistent with the University’s Statement on Open Research, the University supports the principle that the published or publicly presented results of research should be made freely available to the widest possible audience; this is consistent with the requirements of an increasing number of funders that the outputs and data arising from the studies they fund must be made openly available. 

To help facilitate this principle, the University has approved the adoption of a Rights Retention Strategy, outlined in the Statement on Rights Retention for Authors and Implementing a Rights Retention Strategy at the University of Dundee.

The Open Research policy should be consulted before applying for research funding and preparing manuscripts for publication. 

10. Research data management

The University advocates the highest standards in the management, reuse and open accessibility of research data. This policy establishes a set of principles to govern the management of electronic data arising from the research activities of the University and will help you to meet the requirements of funders to manage and provide open access to your research data. The policy should be consulted before commencing a new research project.

11. Publication and dissemination

This policy (which incorporates the previous policy on guest authorship and ghostwriting) outlines the requirements of the University for the publication process and associated dissemination, archiving, and recording of research. It is important that you familiarise yourself and act in accordance with this policy.

12. Health and safety

Before you start your project you must identify and ensure compliance with the University’s health and safety policies which are relevant to the type of research to be undertaken. The policies are available on the University’s Safety Services web-page and cover the following safety topics: General Safety; Biological; Fire; Radiation; and Occupational Health.

13. Data protection and records management

During the undertaking of your research project you are responsible for ensuring that your research complies with the Data Protection Act 1998, which governs the way in which personal information is held and used. The following link provides information on the Act and how the University operates in light of it; pro-formas are also available to help staff deal with particular areas under the Act such as the registering of research projects and data subject access requests (the latter requires to be completed if you plan to retain data during your research project that can be linked to an identifiable individual, for example by name or by code).

14. Additional approvals

It is important that you give careful thought to any additional guidelines, approvals or policy compliance that may be required before undertaking your research. You may, for example, require clearance from Disclosure Scotland, or approval of local education authorities, parents, or teachers. Your source of funding or professional body may also have issued guidelines, policies or regulations that must be adhered to.  For further advice on non-clinical/non-clinically related research projects please contact the Convenor of the University's Research Ethics Committee Dr Beth Hannah and for clinical/clinically related projects contact the Senior Research Governance Manager, Tayside Medical Science Centre (TASC), Tricia Burns.