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  6. Human Research Ethics Review Process description

Human Research Ethics Review Process description

Process begins with Q: Are you an OU academic or postgraduate research student conducting research with human participants?

  1. If “No” an ethics review from HREC is not required. Undergraduate and postgraduate taught students, undertaking a research project, should consult their tutor or module team for guidance as to any ethics review process they will need to follow.  All students are welcome to use the HREC consent form and information sheet templates.
  2. If “Yes”, then Q: Is the OU the lead institution on the research project?
    1. If “No”, then an HREC ethics review is not usually required, but please email a copy of the ethics application which was submitted to the lead institution and confirmation of ‘favourable opinion’ to the Human Research Ethics team so we have a copy for our records.
    2. If “Yes”, please complete the HREC Project Registration and Risk Checklist.

The process continues with Q: Did you answer “Yes” to any of the high-risk questions (1-8) or questions 18 and 19 within the HREC Project Registration and Risk Checklist?

  1. If “No”, please submit the Checklist (and associated documents) to the Human Research Ethics team  to determine if a full ethics review is required.
  2. If “Yes”, then Q: does your research involve NHS patients, NHS staff, or does it take place on an NHS site?
    1. If “No”, please complete the HREC application form and submit the form (and associated documents) to the Human Research Ethics team to apply for a full ethics review.
    2. If “Yes” then, NHS REC approval is required. Complete the Integrated Research Application System application form and submit a PDF copy to the Human Research Ethics team to obtain HREC authorisation (HREC authorisation is required before the IRAS form can be submitted).  See the Health and Social Care Research page for further guidance on the application process.


Go back to the Human Research Ethics Review Process page.