How the Review Process Works
After your application for ethical approval is received, the process is as follows:
1. You will be invited to attend the review
After we’ve checked that your application has been submitted with all the required supplementary documentation, we will invite you to attend a Research Ethics Committee meeting. We encourage all researchers, including supervising researchers, to attend the meeting in person.
2. The review is carried out
Your application will be reviewed by each committee member before the meeting and their questions will be addressed to you on the day of your review.
3. The decision is made
The committee will make its decision. The five possible outcomes are:
- Favourable opinion
- Provisional favourable opinion - Request for further information or for specified conditions to be met. The response will be assessed by the Chair
- No opinion - Request for further information or for specified conditions to be met. The response will be assessed by the full Research Ethics Committee.
- No opinion, pending consultation with an external referee or expert
- Unfavourable opinion
We will let you know the outcome of your review within two weeks of your review date.
Our response to you will include:
- a clear statement of the decision taken
- details of any further information required and/or specified conditions to be met
- reasons for an unfavourable opinion.
Responding to the decision
If the committee has asked for changes and/or additional information, you should submit your reply within 60 days from the date of first Research Ethics Committee response.
- Category B responses (provisional favourable opinion) will be assessed by the Chair and replies will be sent within 15 working days.
- Category C responses (no opinion) will be assessed by the full Research Ethics Committee at the next scheduled meeting and a response will be sent within two weeks of the meeting.
- Category D responses (no opinions pending consultation) will include a time-scale for a response.
Your research should not start until a final communication has been sent by the Research Ethics Committee Chair.