What to do before you start your research
It is important that you make sure that you have completed the necessary checks prior to starting your research project. If you have not done so it may delay the progress of your project.
Before starting your research project you must make sure that you have carried out the necessary ethics checks. Please discuss this with your supervisor to ensure that you complete the necessary steps.
Using personal data
Under Data Protection Law, personal data includes all recorded information about a living, identifiable individual. Students using personal data as part of their studies must comply with the responsibilities as outlined in the linked guidance. Before using personal data as part of their studies students must become familiar with the linked guidance, discuss implications with their supervisor and seek appropriate ethics approval. They must also obtain consent from the data subjects to take part in the studies. Failure to comply with the responsibilities is an offence against University discipline, and could lead to a breach of Data Protection Law. A data protection breach can cause distress to the people the information is about, and can harm relationships with research partners, stakeholders, and funding organisations.
The most common check required is a criminal record check. In Scotland these checks are administered by Disclosure Scotland and are called disclosure checks. You must have a disclosure check if you are working with children or vulnerable adults. You also need a disclosure if you are working with current patients under the care of the National Health Service (see Research Passport section below).
There are three different levels of disclosure check available and it is important that you apply for the correct level for your research. In order to identify the most appropriate level of check please complete the Disclosure Statement of Activity form and return it to the School Postgraduate Office so that we can advise.
If you are going to be working in a school or nursery it is useful for you to send your statement of activity to the head teacher/manager so that they can advise on the level of check that they would expect to have.
Please note: If you have not been resident in the UK for the last 12 months you may be asked to provide evidence of a criminal record check from your home country. This only applies to students from EU countries because students studying on a Tier 4 visa have had a check completed as part of their visa application.
You may be able to apply for a School Research Support Grant to help partially fund your research.
If you are applying for a period of fieldwork and need to borrow equipment for your research, please contact Information Services support with your request using the link below. Your request will be directed to the School Information Technology Support team.