Biological Sciences

Research Ethics and Integrity

All researchers in the School follow the UKRIO code of good practice in research.

The University of Edinburgh has a commitment to promote and facilitate the conduct of ethical research. Attention to the ethical and legal implications of research for researchers, research subjects, sponsors and collaborators is an intrinsic part of good research practice. All research conducted by School of Biological Sciences staff and students should be performed in accordance with the College of Science & Engineering's research ethics framework.

Research Ethics and Good Practice

It is the Principal Investigator's responsibility to identify any ethical issues regarding a piece of research, and all research proposals should be reviewed for ethical implications. In most cases 'self-audit' by the researcher (or, for students, in tandem with their supervisor) will be sufficient to confirm that there are no ethical implications arising.

Biomedical research involving human subjects or tissue is subject to review by the NRES structure, a national review process external to the University. All research involving animals must be licensed by the Home Office and requires review and approval by the University prior to such licensing. Other research involving human subjects (e.g. questionnaires, surveys, focus groups etc.) should be subject to careful self-audit and, if appropriate, review by an appropriate School ethics committee or by the University's Student Survey Panel.

Research which may have an impact on the environment (e.g. field studies) should also be subject to ethical self-audit and, if appropriate, ethical committee review.

Separate procedures apply for obtaining approval from the HSE for work involving genetic modification of plants or animals. All research is in addition fully reviewed for health and safety implications, both for those carrying out the work and for any wider potential risks.