The University Ethics Policy provides a general framework for professional practice and decision making on ethical issues as they arise in the work of the University. The University Ethics Committee (UEC) is responsible for ensuring that appropriate consideration is given to ethical issues relating to the main activities of the University, including Research. Details of UEC membership and minutes of meetings are available (internal link).
UEC has delegated aspects of its work to Faculty Ethics Committees (FEC) which meet at regular intervals to review all ethical issues that result from activity within the Faculty.
It is University policy that all research must be ethically reviewed.
The University publishes an annual statement outlining our compliance with the Universities UK Concordat to Support Research Integrity. Further details of the University's Research Goverance procedures can be found here.
Ethical Review Instructions for Staff and Research Students
1. If you are unsure as to the most appropriate form of ethical review for your work, please start by using the ethics screening tool https://ethicsreview.port.ac.uk
2. If you think an application to an external ethics committee is required please see box below
3. If the ethics screening tool directs you to a Faculty Ethics Committee review (or you already know that this is required) please:
Download application form with guidance here and submit to the relevant email address.
Email Address for enquiries and submissions
Creative and Cultural Industries (Catherine Teeling - Chair)
Humanities and Social Sciences (Dr Jane Winstone - Chair)
Faculty of Business and Law (Dr Peter Scott - Chair)
Science (Dr Jim House - Chair)
Technology (Dr John Williams - Chair)
Please note that committees may be closed during University holidays or over the summer
To notify a Faculty Ethics Committee of a substantial amendment please use this form.
To notify a Faculty Ethics Committee of the end of a study please use this form.
Dr Simon Kolstoe is the University Ethics Advisor and is the first point of contact for research ethics issues arising in Central Services and Support Departments.
Submission of Proposals to External Ethics Committees
Any application to an external ethics committee must receive sponsor sign-off from the University. To arrange this you must notify your faculty ethics committee of your intention so that any necessary advice and support can be provided. This will normally involve assurance from your head of department that the work will be conducted in accordance with the UKRIO code of practice for research.
The most obvious example of work requiring external review is any research involving NHS patients, relatives and carers, or NHS data. Ethical review forms part of the wider HRA Approvals process. Researchers must apply for HRA approval using the IRAS system.
There are also some other types of research that do not require the HRA Approvals process, but must still be reviewed by a NHS REC as a matter of law. This includes research involving human tissue, adults lacking capacity, Clinical Trials of Investigative Medicinal Products (CTIMPs), trials of medical devices, and human participant research involving ionising radiation. A useful online decision tool can be found here and applications must again be made through IRAS.
Most work funded by the MOD or including military participants (but not veterans) must be reviewed by MODREC. The requirement for MODREC review can be determined through completing the checklist found here.
Research requiring access to prisoners or prison staff must be authorised by Her Majesty's Prisoner & Probation Service - details here - prior to review by a faculty ethics committee.
It is University policy that only one formal ethical review should take place. If the review must be conducted by a NHS REC or MODREC then their opinion will suffice for University purposes. If, however, the external body states a review by them is not required, an application must be made to your faculty ethics committee instead. For instance it is possible to get HRA approval without the ethics component of the approval, in which case a faculty ethics review is required. For further guidance please contact your faculty ethics chair or the University Ethics Advisor.
If you are either a member of staff or research student at the University and are proposing to carry out research in the NHS, and have no ongoing contractual relationship with the NHS, you will need a Research Passport. For further guidance please visit the HR webpage at:
Further guidance for Human Tissue Research
If your research involves working with human tissue you need to ensure you comply fully with the law. Revised Guidance for Human Tissue Research is now available to assist in this process.
Any queries regarding human tissue research should be directed to Dr Simon Kolstoe, University Ethics Adviser (email@example.com)
Useful Forms, Templates and Information Sheets
- Participation Information Sheet
- Participant Invitation Template
- Consent Form Template
- Ethical Issues and Survey Questionnaire Template
- Guidance on Research in your own place of work and/or other situations where there is a potential conflict of interest
- Guidance on Security Sensitive Research
- Faculty Ethics Committee Information (Intranet only)
Useful External Links
- Chartered Association of Business Schools: Ethics Guide 2015: Advice and Guidance
- UKRIO Code of Practice for Researchers
- Universities UK: The Concordat to support Research Integrity
- NHS Research Ethics Service (RES)
- Her Majesties Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) research guidance
- British Sociological Association's Digital Research Ethical Guidance
- Market Research Society Code of Conduct
- Social Media Research: a guide to ethics
Specific research council guidance:
- RCUK Policy and Guidelines on the Governance of Good Research Conduct February 2013
- ESRC research ethics guidebook - RECOMMENDED
- RCUK Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research
- AHRC report providing ethical guidance on community based collaborative research
- MRC Research Ethics and Integrity
- NERC Ethics Policy
- STFC Ethics Policy