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Research Ethics Approval

HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES RESEARCH ETHICS COMMITTEE

The Humanities and Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee [HSS REC] reviews complex or high-risk ethics issues in research projects in the arts, humanities and social sciences or cognate areas.

The Committee sits virtually, considering applications on a case by case basis, and is governed by the University's policies on research integrity and research ethics:

http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/research/research/ethics.aspx

This page provides details on the procedures for ethical review, and links to additional resources.

Seeking ethics approval

Undergraduate or graduate students should consult their supervisor in the first instance for guidance on ethics issues arising through the planning of dissertation or graduate research projects.

Staff, or any other person conducting research on University premises, should seek advice from the local ethics committee or ethics contact in the Department in which the research will be carried out.

You may be asked to complete a form and to provide participant information sheets and consent form, in addition to details of your research proposal.

In most cases, ethics approval can be granted at the Department level. Applications must be presented to the relevant Department Ethics Committee in the first instance. Cases that are particularly complex or sensitive, or those presenting a conflict of interest, will be referred by the Department Ethics Committee to the HSS REC for formal review.

Application to HSS REC

Applicants with cases being referred to HSS REC will be asked to complete the Committee’s application form and provide details of their research proposal and participant information.

The Committee aims to deliver a decision in approximately three weeks; however, the process may take longer than this, particularly if revisions are required.

Useful Information

Further information about ethics in research at the University of Cambridge can be found on the University's Research Office website.

The HSS REC draws primarily on the ESRC Framework for Research Ethics, which can be sourced from the ESRC website. Please note that any research funded by the ESRC may be subject to an annual audit to gauge best practice; for more information, see http://www.esrc.ac.uk/funding/guidance-for-applicants/research-ethics/

Contacting the HSS REC

The HSS REC Administrator can be contacted on cshssethics@admin.cam.ac.uk, or 01223 766238.