If your research involves human participants, or data relating to directly identifiable human subjects (whether living or recently deceased), complete an ethics review.
In most cases, where there are no significant ethical issues, this can be very straight-forward and you may be able to ‘self-certify’ your review form. Follow the step-by-step guide below. If you have any questions, contact Lyn Grove at email@example.com.
Step-by-step guide to ethics review and obtaining ethical approval:
- read LSE Research Ethics Policy and Procedures
- complete the checklist in Annex B
- if you answered 'no' to all questions in the checklist, proceed to part II of Annex B: Self-certification/next steps. Submit this to your Head of Department, Research Centre Director, or their administrations as appropriate
- if you answered 'yes' to question 7 in the checklist, i.e. that your research will be subject to ethics review by an external (non-LSE) ethics committee, email the completed checklist to firstname.lastname@example.org and submit your research to the appropriate external body for ethics approval. Once ethics approval is granted, send a copy of the approval letter together with any relevant documentation to email@example.com for the records of the LSE Research Ethics Committee (REC)
- if you answered 'yes' or 'not certain' to any other questions, complete the Research Ethics Review Questionnaire (part III of the form). Once complete, if you are wholly assured that adequate safeguards in relation to the ethical issues raised can and will be put in place, the member of staff (or student and their supervisor) should sign the form, and submit it to the Head of Department, Research Centre Director, or their administrations as appropriate. If concerns remain regarding the issues raised, return the form to firstname.lastname@example.org for approval by the LSE Research Ethics Committee. Check the timeframe for Research Ethics Committee decision-making. If you have a specific deadline which needs to be met please let us know.
- Note that applications relating to the following kinds of research will need to be reviewed by the Research Ethics Committee (and should therefore be submitted to email@example.com):
(i) Research involving deception of participants, or that is intentionally conducted without their full and informed consent at the time the study is carried out or when the data are gathered
(ii) Research which involves or may lead to the publication of confidential information
(iii) Research involving more than minimal risk of harm to participants, for instance arising from:
• research involving vulnerable groups;
• research involving sensitive topics;
• research where the permission of a gatekeeper is required for initial access to participants (where there this might unduly influence participants to take part in the research);
• research which would induce unacceptable psychological stress, anxiety or humiliation or cause more than minimal pain.
Where there is doubt, advice should be sought from the Research Governance Manager and/or the Chair of the Research Ethics Committee (via firstname.lastname@example.org).