Ethical approval

Most funders will require ethics approval for your study before funds can be released, it is therefore important to consider the ethical implications of your research during the study set-up. You will need to incorporate sufficient time for gaining these approvals in the timeline of your research.

National Research Ethics Service

The National Research Ethics Service (NRES) facilitates and promotes ethical research. The NRES sits within the Health Research Authority (HRA) and oversees the work of Research Ethics Committees (RECs).

► National Research Ethics Service (NRES) website

► National Research Ethics Service (NRES) leaflet defining research, 2013 (PDF)

► Health Research Authority, Research Ethics Committees webpage

ESRC framework for research ethics

The Framework for Research Ethics sets out what the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) requires by way of ethics approval for the research it is asked to support, and sees as good practice for all social science research.

► Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) framework for research ethics (external webpage)

MRC Clinical Trials Toolkit

The Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Trials Toolkit provides practical advice to researchers in designing and conducting publicly funded clinical trials in the UK. The interactive map provides information on best practice and outlines the current legal and practical requirements for conducting clinical trials.

► Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Trials Toolkit (external webpage)

Integrated Research Application Service

The Integrated Research Application Service (IRAS) is the single system for applying for the permissions and approvals for health and social care/community care research in the UK. It enables you to enter the information about your project once instead of duplicating information in separate application forms and filters ensure that the data collected and collated is appropriate to the type of study, and consequently the permissions and approvals required.

► Integrated Research Application Service (IRAS) website