Research Ethics Committee

Ethics Committee

NEWS: New GDPR guidance with effect from May 2018. The new General Data Protection Registration guidance will be applicable to all new ethics applications. Please see section on GDPR changes below for more guidance.

The UCL Institute of Education maintains its own Research Ethics Committee. At the Institute, all research projects by staff, students or visitors which collect or use data from human participants including secondary data analysis, systematic reviews and pilot studies, are required to gain ethical approval before data collection begins. The UCL IOE adheres to the UCL Code of Conduct for Research and Statement on Research Integrity.

The UCL IOE Research Ethics Committee (IOE REC) reviews all ethics applications from staff and visitors. Student applications [insert bookmark] are reviewed by the supervisor and another expert member of staff.

Please click here for the UCL Institute of Education's Research Ethics Guidelines

Applying for ethics approval

The ethics application form and guidelines below should be used for all UCL IOE staff and visitor ethics applications.

Staff Ethics Application Form

Staff Ethics Guidelines

The completed application form should be emailed along with all of the necessary supporting documents to ioe.researchethics@ucl.ac.uk.

All research activities involving living human participants and the collection and/or study of data derived from living human participants require ethical approval. Alleged misconduct in any area of research including failure to obtain appropriate ethical approval will be subject to UCL’s Procedure for Investigating and Resolving Allegations of Misconduct in Academic Research.

External researchers wishing to recruit staff and students from UCL IOE must follow the Guidance for External Researchers

Informed consent guidance

It is expected that informed consent will be gained from all participants in research. The IOE REC will request to see information sheets and consent forms when you submit your application. If you do not intend to use these documents then this will need to be addressed in your ethics application.

The links following give templates and further guidance for an information sheet and consent form suitable for adult participants and meeting new GDPR regulations. It is good practice to have these on two separate documents. It should be noted that these are guidelines only; these documents need to be suitable for the audience that you are giving them to. An information sheet designed for research with children, for instance, will look quite different to the sort of information sheet you would give to professionals who you are interviewing.

NEW General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The GDRP will bring in key changes related to consent from May 2018. More information and sample consent forms are available at:

Template Participant Information Sheet

Template Participant Consent Form

Example IOE consent form

GDPR guidance notes

UK data service

UCL legal services

UK Data Archive - model consent form

The forms and information available here are for guidance only. Please also note the IOE consent form template. Researchers should adapt the templates to their individual project as necessary while keeping in mind the requirements of being GDPR compliant. If you have any questions about the templates or GDPR, please contact UCL data protection team.

Ethics review procedures for student research

All student research is required to gain ethical approval before starting.

Ethics review is required to ensure that the research conforms to the ethical standards expected by the Institute. It is also used to assist supervisors and students when reflecting upon ethical research practice. 

When student research involves particularly complicated or sensitive ethical issues, it can be referred by the reviewers to the IOE REC. Guidance for supervisors and tutors on when to refer student ethics applications to the REC can be found here.

Post-graduate taught (Masters) and Undergraduate degree (UG) students

Details on the student reviewing process for post - graduate taught and undergraduate students can be found here: 

Process for PGT and UG ethics review

Student ethics application form

Student ethics guidelines

PGCE students

Research forming part of normal professional practice, for example when embedded in a PGCE programme, is not required to undergo a full ethics review in the same way as other student research projects. These projects can be reviewed by the student's tutor. Where the tutor identifies that the project is a substantial piece of research rather than part of professional practice, the above application form must be completed and reviewed by a tutor and another member of the course team, in line with standard student ethics procedures.

ALL Post-graduate research students

All Post Graduate Research Students are now required to submit their IOE Ethics Application Form to data-protection@ucl.ac.uk in order to obtain a mandatory data protection number for their research, before the ethics review. Please follow the links below for more detailed information.

Details on and forms for the student reviewing process for all post - graduate research students can be found below:

Process for student DP and ethics applications review

PGR student ethics application form

Student ethics guidelines

Key contacts

Key contacts

Research Ethics contact – ioe.researchethics@ucl.ac.uk

Chair of the UCL IOE Research Ethics Committee and 

UCL IOE Head of Research Ethics and Governance – Dr Lynn Ang 

IOE staff REC members:

Culture, Communication and Media – Dr Jennifer Rode

Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment – Dr Becky Hale

Department of Learning and Leadership – Dr Sveta Mayer 

Department of Social Science – Rebecca Rees and Rachel Rosen

Psychology and Human Development –  Dr Sally Palmer

Education Practice and Society – Professor Judith Suissa and Dr Elaine Chase

Centre for Doctoral Education – Dr Christine Han

Lay members:

Gordon Slaven (British Council) 

Ayath Ullah (HMRC)