Research Ethics

All those engaged with research have a duty to consider how the work they undertake, host or support, impacts on the research community and on wider society (UUK Concordat to Support Research Integrity, 2019).

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Ensuring research is conducted ethically

Faculty-based research ethics committees are responsible for reviewing ethics applications in order to ensure that adequate consideration has been given to the ethical aspects of a research project, thus reducing the potential for harm and increasing the benefit of participants.

Faculty ethics committees will assess whether the research proposed can be considered ethical, i.e. whether:

  • The research is justified, i.e. whether it is likely to add to the existing knowledge base;
  • It is of sufficient standard – including whether the researchers are qualified to carry out the roles proposed in the research proposal;
  • The risk it poses is outweighed by the potential benefits of the research;
  • The research appears to comply with all statutory and necessary guidance, including insurance coverage;
  • Data management and handling appear to comply with the relevant legislation (data protection laws) and guidance (e.g. Research Governance Framework, NHS Code of Practice on Confidentiality or the NHS Care Records Guarantee).

Our requirements

All projects conducted by university staff or students must receive approval by their relevant faculty ethics committee prior to commencing. 

Research funded by external parties must receive approval in principle by their relevant faculty ethics committee prior to submitting the bid.

Research conducted with BCU staff, students, data, sites, or other resources must receive Permission Of Access from the relevant person with managerial responsibility for that area.

More information for Birmingham City University Staff and students

You can access more information by accessing one of the designated iCity page below. 

More information about research ethics:

If you have an enquiry about research ethics at BCU and need to contact a member of our ethics team, you can do so via