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Ethical considerations for funding applications​

A good grant proposal will show evidence of ethical issues having been considered at the design stage. Even if your study does not involve human or animal research, high standards of integrity relate to all research.
Although most funders do not require ethical approval at the application stage, it is a common requirement that you should provide a clear description of your approach to dealing with any ethical matters. It is important to highlight any concerns or risks and to explain how they will be managed.  
Guidance relating to ethical considerations and how to apply for ethical approval can be found on the research ethics pages of this site.
The University of Plymouth is dedicated to the highest standards of research integrity and expects all members of the University (staff and students) to observe these standards in the conduct of their research. This includes partners and collaborators, who are not members of the University but who are conducting research on University premises or using University facilities. Please see the University’s code of conduct and ethical policy for more information.

Related information

Please visit Ethical review and committees for more information about the ethical review process and for links to Faculty ethics committees. If you envisage any major ethical issues please have a chat with your faculty research committee chair. Any queries should be addressed to the relevant Faculty Research Ethics Committee for specialist advice.
Specific guidance is available in relation to Human research ethics and Use of animals and animal tissue in research.

When writing your funding application

It may enhance your proposal if you can demonstrate that:
  • You have reflected on the ethical considerations (please visit research ethics for guidance) of your research in advance and where necessary, described this to the funder
  • You have considered the ethics of involving participants at an early stage in your research planning
  • You have planned for the time and resources required to conduct an application for ethical approval and for the time it takes to receive approval
  • Your plan for ethical approval takes into consideration the funder’s time limits and conditions of award (some funding will not be awarded until you can provide proof of ethical clearance.)
  • You have demonstrated that you are aware of and can meet the professional guidelines relevant to your research as well as those of the funder
  • You have described any conflicts of interest
  • You have described how you will access sensitive data (and have a plan in place to get authorisations from gatekeepers)
  • You are aware of data management policies and requirements
  • You have considered the costs of essential activities that will ensure the research is conducted to the highest standard and will meet relevant legal requirements (for example training or setting up research passports)
  • You have read and understood the funder’s ethics policy