Information Studies


DIS Research Ethics

DIS Research Ethics Review Panel

Main Role

DIS Research Ethics Review Panel is the departmental research ethics review body that operates under the A&H Local Research Ethics Committee (A&H LREC). The main role of the DIS Research Ethics Review Panel is to:

  [a] review departmental research ethics applications that can be classed as exempt;
  [b] maintain a complete record of research at DIS and be accountable to A&H LREC;
  [c] support students and staff in seeking research ethics approvals.

DIS Research Ethics Review Panel is represented and reports at the DIS Research Committee.


DIS staff interested in joining the panel should express interested via the dedicated DIS Ethics email address. 

Support for Staff and Students

Taught PG Students can obtain necessary information on seeking ethical approval for their dissertation research on Moodle, as part of the INST0062 module. PhD students and members of DIS staff can access necessary information for registering their research or seek support in preparing their ethics applications on DIS intranet on SharePoint. Questions and queries around research ethics and can be addressed to the panel via the generic email address. Members of staff and students who have questions can book a meeting to seek support using the same route.

Contact Information and Enquires

All ethics related enquires should be directed to dis-ethics@ucl.ac.uk.

Forms and Templates

The Departmental Research Ethics Form along with the guidance on completing it is available on the INST0062 module Moodle page. Taught PG Dissertation students must submit their forms via Moodle. DIS staff and PhD students are discouraged from seeking research ethics approval via the departmental route, unless there is a strong case to do so, such as using non-sensitive data that does not involve humans. Instead, staff and PhD students are encouraged to seek Low Risk research ethics approval from A&H LREC or UCL REC (check dates) for High Risk research instead. The Low Risk application form is available via A&H LREC's site. The High Risk Application form can be obtained from UCL REC's Procedures for Applications site.

Important Guidance Notes

  • UCL expects all staff and students to follow its Research Ethics regulations.
  • Students and staff are required to obtain ethics approval before starting their research. Retrospective approvals will not be granted.
  • If your research project or methodology change after you received approval, your approval will no longer be valid. You must contact the relevant body and provide required details on the proposed changes prior to initiating these changes. Please note that any proposed changes should not be initiated without prior review and approval by the approving research ethics body. 
  • Please also note that in addition to research ethics (whether exempt or not), researchers collecting and processing personally identifiable data of any kind (e.g. email addresses of interviewees or IP addresses of survey participants, personal data from interviews or surveys, etc.) in the course of their research will need to apply for data protection registration.
  • All research, including exeptions approved by DIS, must still be conducted in accordance with accepted ethics standards as well as recognised professional codes of conduct suitable for your research specialism.