Ethical Approval – where to start! October 2014 – February 2015 Lois Neal FMS Research & Innovation Office
You already have: … a clearly defined research question and a route to getting an answer You know what you’re actually going to do (a) an activity that will yield data (b) analyses that fit the data Altogether you have a project outline (or proposal)
Need anything else? The answer to… Will my proposed project actually work? You’ll get stopped in your tracks without an answer!
Will my proposed project actually work? Of course it will! Hopefully, it will It’ll be trial and error, I guess I’ve no idea, really! I’ll get it “peer reviewed” I’ll ask those with expertise and experience
Who does this “peer review”? • Your peers! • Project supervisor • Programme Director • Principal Investigator • Head /staff of academic unit • Experts from other HEIs
Now……….ethics! Give your proposal a preliminary ethical review (a preliminary assessment of the risks involved) Who is responsible? Who carries out this review? Who needs to know about it? Who is in a position to check it? Who keeps the record of it? You are in charge here!
Gate questions…………………… Answer “yes” or “no”
If “no”, skip to the next gate question…… If “yes”, stay and answer the sub-questions…… If these are ALL “no” nothing has been triggered Go on to the next gate question…… If ALL the gate questions are answered “no”….. Or if ALL the sub-questions are answered “no”….. You do not need any further ethical review You have ethical approval to proceed
Examples • Further analysis of existing anonymous data • Review of experiments carried out and reported by others • Student feedback of teaching • Market research • Internal review of a process to improve it • Randomised public opinion poll
If “no”, skip to the next gate question…… If “yes”, stay and answer the sub-questions…… If one or more is “yes”, then a risk has been triggered Watch out for the “gate keeper” question…..
When is there a “gate keeper”? When you need to gain access Users of a service / shop Members of a charity Pupils in a class Students at University Employees in a company Owners of Council allotments
If “no”, skip to the next gate question…… If “yes”, stay and answer the sub-questions…… If one or more is “yes”, then a risk has been triggered You need further ethical review and approval
Examples • A survey of children or vulnerable adults • One-to-one interviews about sensitive topics • Reaction-time tests of people with Alzheimer's Disease • Collecting diet or exercise diaries and determining BMIs • Measuring TV watching in adolescents • Targeted questionnaires delivered over the web
Further ethical review and approval Where from? The appropriate “recognised authority” What are these “recognised authorities”? How do I ask for ethical review and approval?
NHS Research Ethics Committees (RECs) NU - Animal Welfare Ethics Review Board Which Authority? Social Care Research Ethics Committees (SCRECs)
NU - Animal Welfare Ethical Review Board Contact the CBC/Faculty Office
NHS Research Ethics Committees (RECs) Social Care Research Ethics Committees (SCRECs) National Research Ethics Service (NRES) http://www.nres.nhs.uk Social Care Research Ethics Committee (SCREC) http://www.screc.org.uk/ Applications completed and submission via the IRAS portal https://www.myresearchproject.org.uk
The University via the Faculty’s Research Ethical Review Committee http://www.ncl.ac.uk/res/research/ethics_governance/ethics/index.htm Submission of application via FMSEthics@ncl.ac.uk
Notes for NHS REC Approval Best advice: Use the Web! and talk to someone with experience of the process
Getting Ethical Review and Approval Submit documentation….. • -NRES – the Committee will meet and consider, if invited please attend! • -AWERB/Home Office – the Newcastle Committee will meet and consider • -FMS Ethics – selected Reviewers comment (Committee does not usually meet) • Almost always there will be issues or comments to address and respond to!
And finally…….. Once ALL issues are resolved: • Letter to confirm ethical opinion, if favourable, then you have ethical approval • Letter is for a specific project and period Subsequent changes/issues • amendments MUST be notified • adverse incidents MUST be reported
For further guidance ask: • Lois Neal, FMS Research & Innovation Office • email@example.com • University applications forms send to: • FMSethics@ncl.ac.uk
Putting an application together…… Hints and tips……… Perfect preparation prevents poor performance Give yourself enough time
More Hints and Tips Full explanations Easy to read Good standard of English Correct spellings Jargon free Reviewers are new to your proposal…… be kind to them lead them through what you want to do
What do I include? Aim of my study Summary of what I’m going to do Who I want to participate Number of participants I need How I’m going to invite them to participate How I’ve minimised the risks
What do I include? How I’m going to ensure informed consent • Information sheet(s) How I’m going to ensure confidentiality How I’m going to ensure anonymity • Consent form