UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies


STS research ethics

All research at UCL involving humans must be subjected to review for ethical standards, data protection, and safety. 

STS follows UCL's policies in these areas, with the following caveats: (1) no exceptions, (2) individuals must not be decision makers in the review of their own work, (3) policies apply to students as well as staff (and we celebrate the opportunity to demonstrate best practice), and (4) we strive for maximum compliance but minimal bureauocratic shuffling.

The STS Decision Tree pdf will assist you in deciding whether you need to apply for ethics approval, and if so at what level:

Advice to all
Advice to students
Top tips for conducting research in an ethical manner

We want to help make the process as smooth as possible.  So come and have a chat if you have any questions.  It's often easier to discuss any grey areas in advance rather than post-submission. - Prof Joe Cain, Chair of STS Research Integrity Subcommittee.

Key resources

Document Date
STS Ethics Proforma (docx) - complete this form for review at departmental level March 2017
UCL Research Ethics Committee - there's lots of useful advice on this site regarding ethical procedures more generally, as well as specifics relating to applications for work deemed outside "minimal risk" June 2013
UCL Data Protection - you need to register for data protection prior to submitting any ethics applications to the central UCL committee June 2013
UCL Risk Assessment - General UCL guidance on different types of risk assessments that may be relevant. June 2013
Example supporting documents (zip) - this file contains annotated versions of an information sheet, consent form, interview protocol and short questionnaire.  You are welcome to adapt and adjust these as appropriate within your own work. June 2013