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Research Integrity


The pages listed below provide high-level advice for anyone intending to submit an application to a University REC for ethical review of research involving human participants and/or personal data,

For detailed guidance on the ethical review application process, visit the website or email the contact person of the relevant research ethics committee.

Cambridge Guidance

UREC Guidance

The interim research ethics flowchart provides guidance for researchers regarding where and how to seek ethical review from a University REC.

The research ethics handbook for REC members includes a number of UREC-approved research ethics guidance notes:

  • Guidance on ethical review procedures
  • Guidance on the re-use of existing data in research
  • Guidance on the ethical review of overseas research
  • Guidance on the ethical review of amendments

Clinical School

Researchers undertaking research at the Clinical School should read the research and information governance guidance provided by the School:

School of Technology

The Cambridge Working Group on Human Participants in Technology and Physical Science research has prepared extensive guidance on the conduct of technology research with human participants for Cambridge researchers.

Other University guidance

A number of local RECs have also developed guidance. Check the relevant REC webpage for further information regarding local research ethics resources.

Additional guidance on several important pieces of legislation and ethics processes relating to research ethics in the UK can be found below:

External guidance and resources

This section provides links to research ethics guidance from professional associations, Research Councils and other organisations external to the University.


These resources are designed to help researchers understand the regulations and policies that seek to ensure that research in British Universities is carried out to the highest ethical standards.

MRC Regulatory Support Centre

The Medical Research Council's Regulatory Support Centre provides support and guidance for those conducting research with human participants, their tissues or data. The Centre provides a range of online e-learning courses and 'tool kits' that are open to all.

NHS National Research Ethics Services Toolkit

The HRA decision toolkit provides five different decision tools to help you understand what approvals are required for your research project and whether you are eligible to carry out their research in the UK:

  1. Is your study defined as research under the UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research?
  2. If yes, is your research taking place in the NHS and will need NHS approval?
  3. If yes, do you need a favourable opinion from an NHS REC via the HRA?
  4. If yes, do you need Full or Proportionate NHS/Social Care REC review?
  5. Once the above approvals have been identified, is your student eligible to carry out their research under the student research eligibility criteria (Only students and supervisors of students).

Unless otherwise specified above, the decision tool is relevant for all research projects that fall under the remit of the HRA.

You should go through each decision tool until the final outcome is provided for that decision tool and, as appropriate, move onto the next decision tree.  Further guidance is available from the HRA’s website.

Academy of Social Sciences: Developing Generic Ethics Principles for Social Science

The product of three symposia and a conference held during 2013 and 2014, Developing Generic Ethics Principles for Social Science provides resources, reports and papers that address key issues in social science research ethics

Additional Guidance

Professional Association Guidance

Discipline Association Guidance Title
  1. Association of Social Anthropologists 
  2. British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology
  3. American Anthropological Association
  1. Ethical Guidelines for Good Research Practice
  2. Code of Ethics
  3. Statement on Ethics Principles of Professional Responsibility


  1. Chartered Institute for Archaeologists -
  2. Historic Environment Scotland
  1. Code of Conduct
  2. The Treatment of Human Remains in Archaeology
Biological Anthropology & Osteoarcheaology  British Association of Biological Anthropology and
Code of Ethics
Computing Science British Computer Society Code of Conduct
Computing Science Association for Computing Machinery - Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
Criminology British Society of Criminology Statement of Ethics for Researchers in the Field of Criminology
  1. RES Code of Conduct
  2. European Economic Association
  3. American Economic Association
  1. Code of Conduct
  2. Ethical Principles & Code of Conduct
  3. Best Practices for Economists
Education British Educational Research Association:  Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research
Engineering  Royal Academic of Engineering and the Engineering Council Statement of Ethical Principles
Geography Royal Geography Society Professional Code of Conduct
History Oral History Society of the UK:  Ethical Guidelines
Law (socio-legal) Socio-Legal Studies Association Statement of Principles of Ethical Research
Management Academy of Management:  Code of Ethics
Mathematics American Mathematical Society Policy Statement on Ethical Guidelines
Political Science
  1. Political Studies Association
  2. American Political Science Association
  1.  Guidelines for Good Professional Conduct (PDF)
  2. Principles and Guidance for Human Subjects Research
Psychology British Psychological Society Best Practice GuidelinesCode of Ethics and Code
Social Research
  1. Social Research Association
  2. Social Services Research Group
  3. British Association of Social Workers
  1. Ethical Guidelines
  2.  Code of good practice for research, evaluation, monitoring and review
  3. Statement of Ethical Practice (PDF)
Social anthropology
  1. ASA Ethical Guidelines
  2. European Association of Social Anthropologists 
  1. Ethical Guidelines
  2. Statement on Data Governance  in Ethnographic Projects