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Research ethics

The University has a full set of policies and guides to support research activities.  Below are details on the application process and data, copyright and consent.

The Application Process

Question: How does the application process work?


  • Research students should initially speak to their supervisors
  • Informal queries addressed to / conversation with FREC chair
  • Submission of RE4 form with attachments to FREC chair who then disseminates to FREC
  • Discussion at FREC, usually 2 weeks, longer in annual leave periods when FREC is not quorate
  • FREC chair notifies applicant of FREC feedback, queries and/or suggested amendments, face-to-face conversation if desired or approval of signed RE4 form
  • Resubmission of RE4
  • Approval by chair's action if all queries are resolved or
    Another iteration of review, feedback, amendments (rare)

Question: Who can I ask for help with my application?


Supervisor / tutor and FREC chair

Data, Copyright and Consent

Question: What goes on a participant information sheet?


This is a document containing information for participants, such as, for example respondents in an oral interview or to a written questionnaire. It is not a list of participants in the project.

Question: What information should I give to participants about how their data is used, and what if they want to withdraw from the project at any point?


Stating "Participants are free to withdraw at any time" on the participant information sheet is not sufficient.

The participant information sheet should explain how data from interviews is recorded, processed, published, archived, and at which stages what type of data can be withdrawn.

Question: What is the difference between a participant information sheet and a consent form?


The participant information sheet explains the aims of the study, the interview process and how data from the interview is used. The consent form records consent by the interviewee, and should also be signed by the interviewer.

A single form can be used providing both participant information and recording consent, though in most cases it is recommendable to separate the two.

Banner image: PhD participatory workshop by Ninela Ivanova. Image credit: Ezzidin Alwan
Kingston School of Art
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