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Research ethics

York St John is committed to maintaining the highest ethical and integrity standards in research carried out by its staff and students.  The University has a new Research Ethics Policy.

The role of the University Research Ethics Sub Committee (RESC) is to support the University’s research and academic activity by considering policy and practice with respect to research ethics.  From an ethical standpoint, it considers proposals for research or other research related projects that either cannot be approved at faculty level or involve University-wide research.   All research projects carried out by staff and students must comply with the University’s Research Ethics Policy.

It is the responsibility of the member of staff or research student leading the project to consult the  Research Ethics Policy and ensure compliance.

The RESC is responsible for:

  • Matters of general principle and policy on research ethics, and as necessary to refer such matters to the Research Committee following appropriate consultation.
  • Approval for proposals that include research with significant ethical dimensions (that are unable to be approved at faculty level).
  • A framework of delegated authority within which the likely benefits of research can be considered in relation to the potential risks, with University values, and with the highest standards of academic and professional integrity.

The full terms of reference for RESC are also available.

York St John Research Students should also see the Research Misconduct Policy and Procedures.


Process for Research Ethics Approval

Please complete the following form before the research begins:

The form is in four parts:

Part One:  The Initial Screening. Everyone complete this

Part Two: Decision tree. This is completed if part one indicates that there are ethical issues with the proposed research, but they may not require a full proposal.

Part Three: Mitigation of Ethical Concerns. This is completed if there are some ethical issues which can be dealt with by following standard procedures.

Part Four: Ethics Proposal. This is completed if there are substantial ethical issues in the proposed research that require vetting by the faculty or university ethics committee.

The Ethical Review Flowchart will help you to determine the appropriate ethical review for your research project.

You should ensure that your application for research ethics approval is submitted at least 28 days in advance of the project start date.

There are four Faculty Research Ethics Committees (FRECs) which deal with proposals relating directly to the relevant Faculty.  The terms of reference and points of contact for each FREC are as follows:

Faculty Research Ethics Committee Chair Admin Contact
Faculty of Arts Dr Sarah Lawson-Welsh Sue Morecroft
Faculty of Education & Theology Dr Esther McIntosh Jelena Erstic
Faculty of Health & Life Sciences Nathalie Noret Sue Copeland
York St John Business School Prof Bob Garvey Carly Brind

If your project involves University-wide research (eg research outside of the Faculties or cross-Faculty research) or you represent an external body seeking to carry out research at the University please complete the Research Ethical Considerations Form referred to above and submit to the University Research Ethics Sub Committee via the Executive Officer (John Rule - j.rule@yorksj.ac.uk).

Please contact the relevant Faculty Chair or University Chair with any queries on research ethics matters.


Additional information/resources


Association for Research Ethics

The University is a member of the Association for Research Ethics (AfRE) and receives copies of the Research Ethics Review (official journal of AfRE) which is published on a quarterly basis.

To read the full articles from any of the past copies please refer to the copies of the journal available in the University Library (174.2805 RES).