The ethical review and approval of non-clinical research involving human participants proposed by staff and students is overseen by six School Research Ethics Committees (SRECs).

SRECs are responsible for maintaining ethical standards of practice in non-clinical research involving human participants, in order to protect participants and researchers from harm, preserve participants’ rights, and ensure public trust in the conduct of research at the University.

SRECs report directly to the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC), which provides oversight, monitoring and guidance to the School Research Ethics Committees. For further details on membership and remit of UREC and the SRECS please see:

Please note that if a proposed project will involve any of the following clinically-related activities, then you should refer to the website of the Tayside Medical Sciences Centre (TASC) to identify the correct policy to govern the project (http://www.tasc-research.org.uk/tasc/for-researchers). The TASC Research Governance Office provides advice on the necessity for NHS Research Ethics Committee (or University of Dundee Research Ethics Committee) approval for this type of project. The helpline of the East of Scotland Research Ethics Service (EoSREC; ethicshelpline.tayside@nhs.net) will also be able to provide advice on the necessity for NHS Research Ethics approval for this type of project:

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

Note also that ethical approval may not in itself be a sufficient precondition for carrying out the research (e.g. the research might need clearance from Disclosure Scotland, or approval of local education authorities or other bodies). Any necessary risk assessment needs to be carried out before the research begins and researchers must abide by all appropriate safety regulations (please contact the University Safety Officer for advice). Research must comply with the Data Protection regulations. If data are stored in a way that allows for linkage to an identifiable individual please contact the University Data Protection Officer for advice.