Ethical review and committees

Close regard for ethical implications of research, on subjects and the wider public, by researchers and research sponsors is intrinsic to good research practice. University review committees apply the fundamental principles outlined in Plymouth University Research Ethics Policy when approving and advising on projects for research by university staff and research students.

University Research Ethics and Integrity Committee (UREIC)

This committee has overall responsibility for the development, implementation and monitoring of research ethics and integrity policies, and has representatives from all other committees and reports to the Research & Innovation Committee: UREIC Terms of Reference. Professor Jerry Roberts is Chair of the Committee and is the University’s senior member of staff responsible for ethics and integrity. For further information contact UREIC Secretary Dr John Martin or UREC Admin Angela Pellowe.

Research with humans, their data or tissue

Staff and students wanting to apply for ethical approval for research involving humans should contact the appropriate faculty committee administrator first for further advice and to inform them of your intention to submit an application. Individual faculty ethical review forms and faculty specific guidance can be found in the Ethics Intranet Community, with additional information linked in the Faculty Research Ethics and Integrity Committees listing below.

For further information and regulations about human participants, and the use of human tissue, in research visit research with humans, their data or tissue (to access the internal collaboration site select 'windows authentication' and use your University login).

Health and Human Sciences / Medicine and Dentistry

  • Admin: Terri Chapple 
  • Including Tourism and Hospitality & Help CETL, Management, Law 
  • Chair: Dr James Benhin

Arts and Humanities

Science and Engineering

Research with NHS and social care subjects

Research with NHS and social care subjects is approved by the Health Research Authority (HRA). HRA Approval is the process for the NHS in England that brings together the assessment of governance and legal compliance, with the independent REC opinion provided through the UK Health Departments’ Research Ethics Service. It replaces the need for local checks of legal compliance and related matters by each participating organisation in England. This allows participating organisations to focus their resources on assessing, arranging and confirming their capacity.

For further information see HRA: NHS/HSC R&D review or permission and be aware that the outcome of ALL HRA Approvals must be reported to the relevant University Faculty Ethics Committee (FREC) listed above for 'Chair's action'.

For sign off of submissions to HRA (access to NHS patients and NHS partner liaison) please contact Sponsor Representative for HRA/IRAS Applications at

To obtain information about Research Passports/Letters of Access see NIHR: Research Passports.