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Research ethics policies and procedures

‌For any queries related to applying for ethicalreview and approvals or the Research Ethics Committee, please contact Rosy Armstrong or Mark Slater, the Ethics Committee Administrators:


This message contains essential NEW information for Staff and PGR researchers submitting new research ethics applications to SHS REC.


All new applications to the SHS REC, including Path B applications for the 25th April deadline for review at the next meeting on the 4th May, must now use the new ‘Worktribe’ online ethics system.

 Applications via Worktribe will not be required by UG and MSc students until the 2022/23 academic year (they will continue to apply for ethics by email using the old ethics form).

This new system will replace the previous Word document-based application form.

Worktribe has been trialled successfully with several applications to SHS REC over recent months, and we are confident the new system should work for everyone quite smoothly.


There are some key points to note:

1. Completing the system is quite intuitive, with most questions familiar from the ‘old’ ethics application form.

However, please see this link for comprehensive Worktribe guidance and training:

2. The Worktribe ethics module is a new research management system for the University (and will eventually include pre- and post-award financial modules).

-       As such, it is not one size fits all and does not capture some of the necessary project information the SHS REC needs to fully consider/ understand proposals.

-       To tailor Worktribe specifically to SHS needs and to avoid needing to upload numerous appendices (project summary, protocol schematic, power calculations, recruitment materials etc.) our workaround has been to produce a single document that captures the required project details.


Applicants should now complete the Worktribe online form AND complete the SHS supplementary research ethics form which can then be uploaded into the Worktribe application.


3. The previous ‘Path A’ and ‘Path B’ application categories will now be replaced by a risk classification (low, medium and high risk), which is determined by the Research Ethics Framework and is triaged by the research ethics and governance team upon submission. Essentially the process will continue to work as it always has, with low and medium risk applications going through the previous Path A review process, and high risk applications going through full SHS REC review as per previous Path B applications. 

4. The SHS REC appreciate that there will undoubtedly be some unanticipated issues that arise, however there will always be solutions and we just ask that applicants contact us to discuss any queries or concerns and we will work with you to resolve these as quickly as possible.

Routes to approval are determined in the application form.  Path B applications are reviewed by full committee and Path A will be reviewed on an interim basis.  

Research Ethics Committee application deadlines and meeting dates for 

for high risk projects 2021/2022.

Deadlines for submission 2021/22Meeting dates 2021/22
October 2021 Monday 11 Wednesday 20 October
November 2021 Monday 29 Wednesday 8 December
January 2022 Monday 24 Wednesday 2 February
March 2022 Monday 14 Wednesday 23 March
April 2022 Monday 25 Wednesday 4 May
June 2022 Monday 6 Wednesday 15 June
June 2022 Monday 27 Wednesday 6 July

Research Ethics Committee members

Tim Etheridge Member and Co-chair
Brad Metcalf Member
Richard Pulsford Member and Co-chair
Francis Stephens Member
Vicky Stiles Member
Sam Bailey  Member (Risk assessment)
Will Young Member
Raquel Revuelta Iniesta Member
Dimitris Vlachopoulos  Member

Key documents

Staff/PGR Student Sample Size Meetings

To help you to calculate an appropriate sample size for your proposed research study.
It will be a much more productive meeting if you come prepared with appropriate material (papers and/or previous data - see guidelines for Staff/PGR in the key documents above) from which to estimate an effect size, which will determine your sample size.
Also please briefly provide some important details regarding your study design here for Brad to look at before the meeting (type of design, number of groups and/or conditions/timepoints, and the statistical analysis technique you plan to use and which comparison is your main research question).

Guidance and templates for research online:

  • These documents have been prepared by the Research Ethics and Governance Team at the University of Exeter in response to the COVID -19 restrictions on face to face research activity. This will be updated as further information becomes available and is subject to change, please ensure you access the latest version (currently v1.3, May 2021)

Participant information and informed consent 


Complaints received from study participants should be dealt with according to the procedures outlined in the SHS Ethics Committee Policy on Complaints.

Research Ethics and Governance webpages:

Adverse Events

Procedures for recording and reporting adverse events such as injuries, or unexpected physical reactions following a particular procedure, are documented in SHS Ethics Committee Policy on Adverse Events.

Who should I contact?

If your query relates to your study you should contact your supervisor. For all other queries regarding the approval system, contact the SHS Ethics Administrator, Rosy Armstrong (or Mark Slater), at

When will my application be considered?

Path A applications are considered once a valid application has been received and forwarded to the reviewer(s).   

Path B applications will be considered following the deadlines in the table above. Please remember that the ethics committee will have a large number of applications to review, and that if you submit after the deadline you may have to wait until the next meeting.  Please take note of the deadlines and ensure you make your application in good time.

Where are the risk assessments?

The risk assessments along with other related documents such as exercise screening forms can be found on the Sport and Health Sciences SharePoint site.

When can I begin my research project?

You can begin from the start date of your Certificate of Ethical Approval which will be provided by email from the Ethics Administrator.

It is not the role or responsibility of research ethics committees to give legal advice, nor are they liable for any of their decisions in this respect.  Irrespective of the decision of a research ethics committee on a particular application, it is the researcher and/or sponsor who has the responsibility not to break the law.