Research and ethics guidance
About submitting an application for research ethics approval
Face-to-face research (on- or off-campus)
Within PPLS, all new ethics applications for face-to-face research need to be accompanied by a completed checklist, to support researchers in adhering to best practice when conducting face-to-face data collection on or off campus. Furthermore, participant information sheets and consent forms need to include the text that is provided on page 2 of the checklist.
The checklist can be downloaded from the link below and an explanation of the broader context can be found on the ERO sharepoint page:
Due to the ongoing reorganisation of research facilities in PPLS, it is essential that any new on-campus research study should contact PPLS.email@example.com to confirm that a suitable research room is available, prior to submitting the ethics application.
All off-campus research, whether conducted locally (in/around Edinburgh), within the UK or overseas requires travel and fieldwork risk assessments which can be found from the link below. These should be submitted to the school for approval by emailing the School Operations Team:
All studies and experiments conducted in (human) psychology first must obtain ethical approval in order to protect participants' interests and to maintain academic standards.
The Psychology Research Ethics Committee (PREC) is responsible for ensuring that all research carried out by members of the Psychology department has been subjected to the necessary ethical review. The PREC is composed of 10-12 members of the unit, with their areas of expertise spanning the diverse sub-fields of psychology. Occasionally, the committee will call upon outside individuals if their expertise would help in the review of a particular proposal.
(Old Psychology ethics system: Access for old applications only, all new applications should be submitted to the PPLS Research Ethics electronic application form below).
Electronic application form
All applicants to the PREC must complete and submit this electronic application form.
Participant Information Sheet and Informed Consent forms
The upload of a Participant Information Sheet and Informed Consent form is mandatory for your ethics application. The Example Participant Information Sheet and Informed Consent Form may help you in putting your application materials together (note: the example documents represent ideals; perfect compliance is not a requirement for ethical approval, though it might speed things along).
Debriefing and deception
Researchers may find it useful to include a debriefing of the study for participants at the close of the project. The debriefing process is a requirement for studies that employ deception.