Any research undertaken by Institute of Archaeology staff or students should be designed and conducted in an ethical way and be compliant with existing UCL policy and relevant legislation.
**March 2020: UCL has issued updated guidance for research and ethical approval in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.**
This new advice relates to both staff and student (non-clinical) research that involves human participants and/or their data and relates to current, ongoing research, rather than new applications for ethical approval. Please look at the 'decision tree' to see what new methods (e.g. shift to online data collection) and ethics approvals / data protection requirements might be necessary.
If you have already received ethics approval to carry out research that did not involve online data collection then you should contact the IoA Chair of Ethics Committee (currently Julia Shaw) at IoA.email@example.com so that you can obtain updated advice.
Issues to consider include how your research data is funded, sourced, analysed and disseminated.
Institute policies and guidelines
The Institute of Archaeology takes research ethics very seriously and has produced the following guidelines for Institute staff and students to adhere to:
- Policy regarding the illicit trade in antiquities
- Ethical guidelines for research
- Ethical guidelines for human participant research
Any enquiries may be directed to the Chair of the Institute's Ethics Committee (currently Julia Shaw) at IoA.firstname.lastname@example.org
UCL policies and guidelines
- UCL Cultural Property Policy
This states that anyone bringing cultural property onto UCL premises must register this material with college. This includes all incoming archaeological material. The Institute offers support for this, please enquire for further details.
- UCL Cultural Property Policy Guide
- UCL Statement on Research Integrity
The legal position
- If your research involves human participants you must obtain clearance from the UCL Research Ethics Committee or National Research Ethics Service in order to be covered by UCL public liability insurance, unless your research has been declared exempt from such approval by a member of the UCL Research Ethics Committee or the Institute of Archaeology's Ethics Committee. Students should first read the Ethical guidelines for human participant research section of this website.
- Your research must be compliant with Data Protection Legislation (General Data Protection Regulation 2016 and the Data Protection Act 2018).
- Work involving human remains must be compliant with the Human Tissue Act 2004
- A Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) will be needed if you work in controlled or regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults. See here for further information»
- Appropriate Risk Assessment Forms may need to be submitted. These should be submitted to Sandra Bond.
- If you conduct your research outside Britain, or your work involves international collaborators, then you must also follow any relevant international guidelines or laws for the countries in which you operate.
- Ethics 1: good research practice, an online course offered through Moodle»
- Ethics 2: working with human subjects, an online course offered through Moodle»
- UCL Research Ethics Committee applications for working with human subjects, a 2 hour workshop aimed at research students»
Forms and Resources
- Human Participant Research Application for coursework
- Human Participant Research Application for dissertations
- Human Participant Research Application for Staff or postdoctoral researchers
- Information sheet template
- Consent form template
- Student Fieldwork Risk Assessment form
Anyone who wishes further advice on ethical matters should contact the Chair of the Institute's Ethics Committee (currently Julia Shaw) at IoA.email@example.com