The University of Edinburgh has adopted the UK Research Integrity Office’s Code of Practice for Research (2009).
The UKRIO's Code of Practice for Research is available to download from their website:
The College has a research ethics framework. All research activities must comply with these guidelines. This framework for ethical conduct of research is guided by principles of: dignity, respect, care for others, honesty, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness and leadership.
Please note that these principles apply equally to staff and students in the College.
Research Governance is ‘the broad range of regulations, principles and standards of good practice that exist to achieve, and continuously improve, research quality across all aspects of healthcare in the UK and worldwide.’ (APCRC)
Research Governance applies to everyone connected to Clinical Research, no matter how senior or junior, whether as a Chief Investigator, Care Professional, Researcher, their employer(s) or support staff.
By Clinical Research, we mean any health-related research that involves humans, their tissue and/or data.
Under the Research Governance Framework every research study relating to healthcare run in the UK is required by law to have a Sponsor. Sponsors ensure that studies are of a good quality, appropriately managed and funded, adhere to Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and are adequately indemnified.
If your study involves human participants, their data or tissue then your study falls within the remit of the Research Governance Framework and may require sponsorship.
Typically this would be studies that are categorised as level 2/3 on the Research Ethics Application (REA) form.
For projects within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the contact is:
Charlotte Smith, Research Governance Coordinator
Telephone number: +44 (0) 131 242 3326
The College Associate Dean (Research Ethics) is Dr Laura Jeffery;
Telephone number: +44 (0) 131 651 3860
The Research Governance Coordinator can advise on:
The Academic and Clinical Central Office for Research and Development (ACCORD) is a partnership between the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian Health Board. ACCORD provides professional advice and expert support to researchers and commercial companies through the UK and internationally to conduct clinical research.
Although allegations of misconduct in research are rare the University is committed to ensuring they are thoroughly investigated.
The University recognises that conflicts of interest can inappropriately affect research and has produced a policy statement to assist with identifying conflicts of interest and to provide procedural guidance.
Research involving obtaining data from people requires researchers to maintain high ethical standards. This includes such considerations as data protection legislation and obtaining informed consent from research participants.
Each of the Research Councils has its own regulations on ethics and research governance with some funders publishing detailed guidance and requirements.