Plymouth Ethics Online System


The University has now switched the research ethics application process from paper-based to electronic and online. The Plymouth Ethics Online System (PEOS) is a flexible web-based management system to help facilitate and streamline the ethical review process.

This online ethical review application system is available to both members of staff and postgraduate taught and research (PGT/PGR) students at the University of Plymouth. The system will help applicants submit and track their applications as well as make it easier for the Faculty Research Ethics and Integrity Committees to conduct reviews, provide feedback and approve applications.

PEOS features an automatic submission feature. This means that once you sign the form (and obtain any additional required signatures) the system will automatically submit the application on your behalf. Please note, to ensure your signature is recognised please ensure you remain logged into the system for at least 60 seconds after you sign the form to allow time for the screen to refresh. You will also receive an email confirmation that submission was successful.


To access the new system, please use the following links and log in with your University of Plymouth username and password (the same information you use to access your email):

Submitting an ethics application

Reviewing an ethics application (Faculty Research Ethics and Integrity Committee personnel ONLY) 

Guidance documents

The 'How to' PDF guides below provide guidance to members of staff and PGT/PGR students on how to use PEOS including how to create a new application.

Helpful information

The manuals provide guidance to members of staff and PGT/PGR students on how to use the Plymouth Ethics Online System.

IMPORTANT: Please ensure you request signatures of the PI or supervisor (if required).

The system features an automatic submission function, which will automatically submit your application (usually within 60 seconds) after all required signatures are obtained.

If you are signing an application, please ensure you remain logged into the system until the screen refreshes and you receive email confirmation that a) your signature has been accepted and b) your application has been successfully submitted.

If you do not receive an email confirmation within one hour of signing the form, please perform the following:

1. Open the application and double check the form status; it should be listed as submitted, resubmitted. If the status is one of these, please email your requested signatory if you have one or FRIEC Administrator to double-check that they have received your application.

2. If the form status is listed as ‘not submitted’ or 'changes requested', then please double check:

a. That an appropriate signature has been obtained.

b. That no additional blank signature boxes are listed.

c. That the application is not pending a mandatory update (listed in a red bar at the top of the screen)

d. If you have performed all of these checks and the application has still not automatically submitted, please email Plymouth Ethics Online System support and provide your project reference number, title and a screenshot confirming these criteria and a member of the team will be able to assist you.

If you wish to make an amendment to a historical application (made prior to PEOS), then, for the time being, you will need to start a new application.

For technical issues using the system, please contact:

Ethics Online System Support: or telephone: +44 1752 586703

For general research ethics support, please contact:

Arts, Humanities and Business:


Science and Engineering:

Plymouth Sponsor:


R&I provides training on how to use the Plymouth Ethics Online System either by drop-in sessions or one to one training. Please contact ethics online system support at to arrange a bespoke training session for your faculty/ school or research group.

The next drop-in sessions will be facilitated by Alison Bendall, Research Information Officer, who will be happy to help you with the system and discuss any queries. They will take place via Zoom as follows:

22 October 10:00-10:30 Applicant Drop in at Zoom session

22 October 11:00-11:30 Administrator Drop in Zoom session

22 October 11:30-12:00 Reviewer Drop in Zoom session

New grant pre-award process

The University has now switched the research grant pre-award process (encompassing project costing, peer review and approval) from paper-based to fully electronic and online.

The new tool is called Award Manager and sits within Unit 4 Business World (Agresso). It provides instant access to real-time data about research activities, allows for split costing between schools and departments and streamlines the approval process.

Read the Infonetica case study

The University of Plymouth's new ethics review system went live on 20th April 2020 and is being used by staff, taught masters and postgraduate research students. They have found the software to be intuitive, easy to use, efficient and time saving, in handling the 350-400 low to high risk ethics applications the university receives in a typical year. The new system fulfilled the requirements to provide a single repository for all review documentation as well as to assure full GDPR compliance.