COVID-19 guidance for research ethics
Guidance for those who will conduct their research remotely
I have ethical clearance but have not yet begun data collection. I will amend my recruitment plan to recruit and interact remotely.
Unless the changes to the way you interact with participants constitutes a substantial change to the project, you will not need to submit an amendment request. Simply update your recruitment documents to detail how you will remotely interact and then proceed.
I have started data collection and will now change to remote participant interaction.
Unless the changes to the way you interact with participants constitutes a substantial change to the project, you will not need to submit an amendment request. Update your recruitment documents to detail how you will interact and use this version going forward. Any already active participants must be informed of the change and be provided with a copy of the updated participant information sheet. It is important that you make it clear to participants that if they no longer wish to participate owing to this change, or for any other reason, they are free to withdraw.
I have ethical clearance but have not yet begun data collection. I plan to commence my research activity now that lockdown is easing.
All studies must follow the University’s restarting research framework. Researchers wishing to recommence face-to-face research must inform the relevant ethics panel and include detailed consideration of the ethical implications of restarting in-person research.
New studies relating to COVID-19
An expedited review process will be considered for externally funded research studies relating to COVID-19. Expedited review can be sought in the following way:
- Complete the full ethics review form, ensuring that all questions are answered and all supporting documents are attached to the application (i.e. participant information sheets, consent forms and recruitment materials).
- Email the completed form to the relevant research ethics panel (GUEP firstname.lastname@example.org or NICR email@example.com) and provide justification as to why your project requires urgent ethical review. Justifications should include the public health grounds for the study to be conducted and the rationale for conducting the study at this time.
- The subject header of your email must include: COVID-19 Expedited Review
- Your request will be reviewed by a member of the research ethics team and a decision in relation to whether the project is eligible for urgent review will be confirmed via email within 24 working hours.
- If approved your application will be reviewed by experienced members of the ethics Panels within 72 working hours and a decision issued.
- If your request for expedited review is denied your application will be allocated to the next Panel meeting for consideration.
Please contact Rachel Beaton, University of Stirling Research Integrity and Governance Manager.