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Research Integrity and Research Ethics. Catherine Fieulleteau Ethics Integrity Manager. Research Integrity. The University conducts high quality, innovative research and is guided by the principles and standards outlined in The Concordat to Support Research Integrity,

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research integrity and research ethics

Research Integrity and Research Ethics

Catherine Fieulleteau

Ethics Integrity Manager

research integrity
Research Integrity

The University conducts high quality,

innovative research and is guided by the

principles and standards outlined in The

Concordat to Support Research Integrity,

Research Governance Framework for

Health and Social care and other


Source: The Concordat to Support Research Integrity, 2012:


research integrity1
Research Integrity

The core elements of research integrity


  • Honesty in all aspects of research.
  • Accountability in the conduct of research.
  • Professional courtesy and fairness in working with others.
  • Good stewardship of research on behalf of others.

Source Singapore Statement, 2010:

research integrity2
Research Integrity
  • Demonstrate openness and transparency when reporting results; including sharing negative results.
  • Acknowledge all contributors who had significant involvement in the research.
  • Comply with all legal, ethical and contractual requirements.

Source: The Concordat to Support Research Integrity, 2012:

experienced and new researchers
Experienced and New Researchers
  • Both senior researchers and new researchers should understand their responsibilities.
  • Researchers should be aware of and keep actively up-to-date with research integrity issues.
  • Comply with legal and ethical requirements when conducting or collaborating in research in other countries. Both UK and the legislation of the other countries must be observed.
  • In the 20th century significant abuses prompted action to improve the governance of research ethics.
  • Nazi atrocities and medical research conducted on human beings without informed consent. This includes drug testing and scientific experimentation.
  • Increased research governance means an explicit discussion of ethical concerns will be conducted before a project is approved.
when is ethical approval required
When is ethical approval required?
  • Research involving human participants – including simple, anonymous questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, observations and taught courses/practicals.
  • Human data, personal, sensitive data – even if anonymised, may require ethical approval.
  • Raises social and environmental issues.
  • Research on animals.
why is ethical approval necessary
Why is ethical approval necessary?
  • Protects the safety and well-being of research participants.
  • Protects researchers.
  • Ensures you conduct your research to high ethical standards. Protecting integrity of ethics.
  • Informed consent (written where possible) or recorded verbal consent.
  • Meet the criteria of funding bodies/sponsors.
uel ethics committees
UEL Ethics Committees
  • University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) reviews research involving:
  • human subjects submitted by staffand PGR students.
  • School Research Ethics Committees (SRECs) review applications for ethical approval submitted by:
  • undergraduate and taught Masters students.

Source: UEL Research Ethics web page:

uel ethics committees1
UEL Ethics Committees
  • UREC, SRECs and CRECs are made up of a Chair, Deputy Chair and subject area representatives reflecting the mix of School disciplines within each Committee.
  • Each discipline at UEL has a SREC that reviews applications for ethical approval.
  • Staff and students conducting research with human participants must obtain ethical approval. UEL does not grant retrospective approval.
what does urec look for
What does UREC look for?
  • Design of the study – rationale, hypothesis
  • Expertise/experience of researchers
  • Benefits of the research – present or future?
  • Recruitment of participants – approach.
  • Risks to participantsminimised.
  • Informed consent!
  • Confidentiality.
  • Compliance issues – DPA, DBS and legal regulations.
recruitment documents
Recruitment Documents
  • Information Sheets (I.S.):
  • Given in advance.
  • Lay language and age appropriate.
  • I.S. for each group of participants. In writing (preferable) or script to be read.
  • Emphasise that participation in the study is voluntary.
  • State right to withdraw and deadlines for withdrawal of data, normally up to the point of anonymisation.
  • State whether you hope to publish the data.
recruitment documents1
Recruitment Documents
  • Consent Forms:
  • Given in advance.
  • Must obtain consent from relevant authorities and gatekeeper organisations.
  • Included in application provide:
  • Researchers should provide:
  • Draft interview topic guide, copy of questionnaire(s), permission letters and adverts for the study.
  • Apply for ethical approval in good time!
urec process
UREC Process
  • Applications made to UREC are required to use UREC application form and template recruitment documents.
  • One hard, ink-signed copy of the full application, including recruitment documents should be submitted.
  • One electronic copy of the full application form in PDF format should be emailed to
  • UREC will not accept applications that do not bear an ink-signed signature.

Source: UEL Research Ethics web page:

srec process
SREC Process
  • Condensed version of the research ethics application form.
  • Recruitment documents are still required.
  • Each SREC has its own procedures for granting ethical approval.
  • Supervisors should be aware of the processes. Consult the SREC Chair for guidance.
research requiring nhs approval
Research requiring NHS Approval
  • NHS Research Ethics Committees (RECS) review research involving:
  • Patients, users of the NHS and their carers.
  • Patients who fall under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
  • Research governed by Human Tissue Act 2004
  • Social Care Research Ethics Committees review all social care research funded by the Department of Health.
  • UEL acts as sponsor.
responsibilities of staff and students
Responsibilities of staff and students


  • Be aware of their responsibilities.
  • Ensure that they have the necessary training, time and resources to carry out that role.
  • Request support, if required.
  • Research staff and students, at all levels, are expected to comply with all legal, ethical and other requirements or guidelines that apply to research.

UEL Code of Practice for Research, June 2013:

  • Research Integrity Modules.
  • Ethics Integrity Manager - provides training and guidance. Drop in sessions held at both Campuses for staff and students.
  • External training provided.
  • Chair of UREC – runs PGR and staff research ethics training.
  • Updates available on the web page, research ethics blog and UEL’s inFocus magazine.
advice and support
Advice and Support

Research Ethics Department in

Graduate School.

0208 223 6683

University of East London

EB1.43, Docklands Campus

4-6 University Way

London E16 2RD

useful references
Useful references
  • UEL Site:
  • IRAS Site:
  • The Concordat to Support Research Integrity:
  • European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity:
  • Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care. Second edition, Department of Health 2005
  • A Framework of Policies and Procedures for University Research Ethics Committees. The Association of Research Ethics Committees, 2013