IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Ethics application: key considerations

Before submitting your ethics form, have you considered the following in your application?

Potential risk

  1. Have you considered risks to the research team?
  2. Have you considered risks to the participants (for example, harm, deception, impact of outcomes)?
  3. How about data collected (for example, storage, considerations of privacy, quality)? And risks to the research organisations, project partners, and funders involved?
  4. Risks to any other persons as a result of the research?
  5. Any other risks?
  6. What steps will be taken to mitigate the above risks?

Data management and security

  1. How will you protect your data at the research site and away from the research site?
  2. What types of participants will be recruited (for example, students, children, people with learning disabilities, and the elderly)?
  3. How will the competence of participants to give informed consent be determined?
  4. How, where, and by whom participants will be identified, approached, and recruited? Will any unequal relationships exist between anyone involved in the recruitment and the potential participants?
  5. Are there any benefits to participants?
  6. Is there a need for participants to be de-briefed? By whom?
  7. What information will participants be given about the research?
  8. Who will benefit from this research?
  9. Have you considered anonymity and confidentiality?
  10. How will you store your collected data?
  11. How will data be disposed of and after how long?
  12. Are there any conflicts of interest in undertaking this research (for example, financial reward for outcomes etc.)?
  13. Will you be collecting information through a third party?

Informed consent

  1. Have you informed participants about their rights to withdrawal?
  2. Can participants opt-out?
  3. Does your information sheet (or equivalent) contain all details about the research for participants to make an informed consent?
  4. Does your information sheet contain key information and links to the UCL General Research Participant Privacy Notice?
  5. If your research changes, how will consent be renegotiated?


Have you considered the time you need to gain ethics approval (Currently 25 working days on average, 15 working days for expedited applications, depending on reviewers’ availability)?

Ethics Codes

What professional code of ethics will your project abide by (BERA? BPS?) 

Monitoring and Procedures

How will the ethics aspects of the project be monitored throughout its course?

Adverse events

How will unforeseen or adverse events in the course of research be managed (for example, do you have procedures to deal with any disclosures from vulnerable participants)?