Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Research Ethics

The University requires that all research involving human participants or human material or human data is subject to formal ethical review and approval before such work can be started.

All clinical research involving human tissue, material or data requires approval via the NHS LREC / MREC mechanism.

Therefore, research involving humans which falls within any of the six categories below, must seek approval from the appropriate NHS LREC/MREC.

  1. Patients and users of the NHS. This is intended to mean all potential research participants recruited by virtue of the patient or user's past or present treatment by, or use of, the NHS. It includes NHS patients treated under contracts with private sector institutions.
  2. Individuals identified as potential research participants because of their status as relatives or carers of patients and users of the NHS, as defined above.
  3. Access to data, organs or other bodily material of past and present NHS patients.
  4. Fetal material and IVF involving NHS patients.
  5. The recently dead in NHS premises.
  6. The use of, or potential access to, NHS premises or facilities.

In addition studies which

  • are defined as clinical trials by the Medicine for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations Act 2004
  • involve patients who lack or will potentially lack mental capacity as defined in the Mental Capacity Act 2005

also require review via the NHS LREC/MREC mechanism.


Via the Home Office, procedures also exist for non-human biomedical research with ethical considerations. Separate procedures also exist; when researching particular population groups such as prisoners and specific ethical clearance is required in these types of research.

Non-clinical research involving human participants, human material or human data requires approval by the Dental School Research Ethics Committee.

The Dental School Research Ethics Committee meets monthly, usually on the first Monday on each month.

Further details on how to apply to the Dental School Research Ethics committee can be found via the links on the right.


More details and guidance on Research Ethics in general can be found at

The National Research Ethics Service can be accessed via

Applicants submitting projects for ethical approval should ensure that they comply with the University Health and Safety policies