Institute of Education


Ethics applications: IOE staff

Information for applications reviewed by the IOE Research Ethics Committee.

If you have any questions or concerns involving research ethics as a result of developments related to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, please contact us at ioe.researchethics@ucl.ac.uk and we will be pleased to help. Stay safe.

Resources for Covid-19 disruptions

You can find below advice, knowledge and links to material to support research staff to follow best practice during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The IOE position is that research fieldwork should, where possible, be conducted by remote means.

Pausing, terminating, or moving data collection online

Starting or resuming face-to-face fieldwork

Staff Ethics Guidance

All research activities 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 regardless of whether your research is funded or unfunded.

Ethics review applications

The ethics application form and guidelines should be used for all UCL Institute of Education staff and visiting external researchers. Staff Research Ethics contact - ioe.researchethics@ucl.ac.uk

For first time Moodle users, please contact ioe.researchethics@ucl.ac.uk

Upload and submit ethics review applications on UCL Moodle

Informed consent guidance

It is expected that informed consent will be gained from all participants in research. The IOE Research Ethics Committee 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 below give templates and further guidance for an information sheet and consent form suitable for adult participants and meeting 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.

Staff Ethics Application Form

Projects previously approved by external institutions

For those seeking IOE approval for a project that previously received ethical approval elsewhere, please submit the ethics form and all documents supplied to the external research institution to ioe.researchethics@ucl.ac.uk, including a copy of the approval letter issued by the external research ethics committee.

Amendments to approved projects

If your amendment concerns moving research online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, refer to the IOE guidance for pausing or terminating research, or moving data collection online.

For those who are seeking amendments to projects previously approved by the IOE Research Ethics Committee, there will be a triage system (to establish whether it needs to be reviewed by the Chair of the Committee or whether it requires a full ethics review, in which case a new application may need to be submitted). Please contact ioe.researchethics@ucl.ac.uk with details of the nature of the amendments required, quoting the title of the original project, the year of approval and where possible, the REC reference number recorded on the original approval letter.

Research misconduct procedure

In the event a complaint or allegation of misconduct regarding an IOE research project is submitted to the Chair of the IOE Research Ethics Committee (REC), this will be investigated at local level in the first instance, in line with UCL's Procedure for investigating and resolving allegations of misconduct in academic research (please see section A6 of the procedure). 
IOE procedures for investigating and resolving research misconduct allegations will be as below:

  1. The Principal Investigator (PI) will be contacted to inform them of the allegation. They will be asked for more information and asked to cease data collection temporarily while the investigation is pending.
  2. The IOE REC will advise the PI on the outcome of the investigation and, if required, will make recommendations on appropriate action as follows:
  • In less serious cases, IOE research guidance will be reinforced and/or training will be provided to project investigators. 
  • In more serious instances of misconduct, the case will be escalated to the Registrar, as per the above UCL procedure. 

GDPR-compliant exemplars for guidance

The consent forms and participant information sheets should be used as exemplars only. Researchers are expected to develop their own forms and information sheets as appropriate for their research and not reproduce or copy the examples as templates.

All information sheets developed for research must also include a privacy notice. A template privacy notice can be found below, and more information can be found the UCL Privacy page.

For questions about information sheets:

Upload and submit ethics review applications on UCL Moodle

For first time Moodle users, please contact ioe.researchethics@ucl.ac.uk