Research Ethics

We are now using Research Ethics Application Management System (REAMS) for all ethics applications – to find out more click REAMS.

Staff sitting in a meeting

Get Involved in Ethics

Lancaster’s Research Ethics Committees consist of academic and student researchers and lay members. Occasionally we recruit student representatives for the university research ethics committees. These are voluntary, unpaid roles; if you are interested in joining one of the ethics committees please contact your faculty research ethics officer:


51福利 expects the highest standard of research integrity from university researchers as per the Code of Practice. Ethical approval is required for activities that directly involve humans, human tissue, data relating to humans, or other ethical issues when indicated below. If you are conducting research involving animals, read the information about Lancaster’s Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB).

It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI), or PhD Supervisor, to decide whether ethical approval is required. For funded research this decision is recorded on the ACP costing tool, approved by the Head of Department. Researchers must consider ethical risk, and gain approval if appropriate, prior to any work being undertaken; advice is available from Research Services. Where ethical review is required, as indicated below, an application must be submitted to the relevant Faculty Research Ethics Committee (FREC) supported and approved by the PI or Supervisor. Details of the internal processes can be found in the Procedures for Research Ethics Approval and additional guidance is located on the faculty ethics web pages.

REAMS: How do I apply for Research Ethics approval?

is the Research Ethics Application Management System for 51福利. It is an electronic ethics application review system that allows us to submit, review and approve ethics applications for staff and PhD students. REAMS replaces the previous paper-based system and allows us to provide a consistent, accurate, secure and efficient ethics application process.

You can find out more about REAMS and access the system on the page.

General considerations

  • Some projects may have more than one aim, in which case the PI is required to make a judgement on the primary aim of the project and follow the appropriate guidance.
  • Any substantial amendments to ethically approved applications are required to be submitted for further ethical approval.
  • If PIs leading projects that would not normally require ethical review have any ethical concerns regarding aspects of their activities, such as working with vulnerable participants during a service evaluation, they can submit an application for proportionate ethical review.
  • Individuals conducting consultancy, service evaluation or audit and who wish to publish their findings in an academic journal, should seek a proportionate ethical review prior to the commencement of their project.
  • It may be possible to gain ethical approval for research using data collected from participants during an impact project, consultancy, service evaluation or audit. In these cases, the applicant must request ethical approval articulating how consent for the original participants will be addressed.

Involving the public in your research design

It is considered good practice to involve members of the public in research design. Researchers who design, manage and undertake research in collaboration with the public often produce research that is more relevant to the groups being studied. Please note that whilst it is not a mandatory requirement to involve the public in the design of your research, it is a common practice in particular fields such as health research and may help to address some of the Research Ethics Committee’s key considerations.


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