Research ethics framework

Code of Practice for Research

The University of Edinburgh has now replaced its Code of Good Practice in Research (November 2002) with the formal adoption of 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:

About the UK Research Integrity Office

The UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) is an independent body which offers confidential and expert advice and guidance to universities, other research organisations, individual researchers and members of the public about the conduct of research.

UKRIO is hosted by Universities UK and funded by a range of stakeholders including the funding councils, the UK Departments of Health and the research councils.

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
  • leadership

Procedures for obtaining ethical approval can be found at the end of the framework document. Please note that these principles apply equally to staff and students in the College.

CHSS Research Governance Office Support

Advice should be sought for any research study which may potentially have any ethical concerns (typically this would fall into Level 3 categorised studies).

These types of studies should not be restricted to those involving NHS patients or premises. For example, if a study involves vulnerable groups such as adults with incapacity or if you plan to take samples from participants such as blood samples then your study may still require sponsorship.

Every clinical research study run in the UK is required by law to have a sponsor. Sponsors ensure that studies are of good quality, appropriately managed and funded, adhere to Good Clinical Practice and are adequately insured and indemnified.

For advice regarding sponsorship or the completion of NHS ethics (IRAS) forms then please contact:

Jo-Anne Robertson, Research Governance Coordinator (ACCORD Office)

0131 242 9418

Other policies and advice

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