Research ethics and COVID-19

If you are conducting research on COVID-19-related issues, please get in touch at so we can fast-track your application when you submit it.

Re-starting face-to-face research

Any proposed projects which involve face-to-face research should comply with the Restarting research guidance found on the Edinburgh Research Office website, regardless of where the proposed research activities will take place – Edinburgh, elsewhere in the UK, or in another country. Please note: any new ethics applications in this category require the applicant to complete two additional forms and attach them to their ethics application. See above link for details.

Message from Dr Ailsa Niven, CAHSS Associate Dean of Research Ethics and Integrity:

The College Research team would like to emphasize that such research activities should continue to be the exception, and researchers are encouraged to consider carefully the need for such research, and the potential benefits of non-contact alternatives. At this time, please continue to encourage colleagues to make use of the Support for Research during Covid Hub (SERCH - to support both ethical and methodological decision making.

If there is a strong case to undertake such research, then prior to commencing researchers must ensure they have all of the required approvals, including approval of the new Travel Risk Assessment during Covid-19 version (TRA-CV19) (see The TRA-CV19 is required regardless of the distance of travel, and should be approved by Schools.’

One implication of these processes, is that researchers who are restarting projects that have previously had ethical approval will be required to make some adaptations to their procedures, and amend PIS and consent forms to articulate the increased risk in the current situation.

Resources for researchers

Staff and students designing or re-designing research projects during the COVID-19 pandemic, should refer to the specific guidance on the CAHSS Research and Knowledge Exchange webpages (Some Ethical Considerations when Rethinking Research Projects in Light of Covid-19 Situation) and the Edinburgh Research Office webpage Covid-19 and research.