Student Research Ethics Committee

Health Science Student Research Ethics Committee (HSSREC)
The Faculty of Health Science Student Research Ethics Committee (HSSREC) has been created to review ethics applications for projects being undertaken by undergraduate and master’s Students in relation to their degree certification.
The committee membership has been developed to ensure that student projects are reviewed by staff who have an understanding of the place of these projects in the overall learning and teaching context of the programmes delivered in the Faculty. Applications are submitted via the Online Research Ethics Management System (OREMS)
All student projects require ‘approval’ by a named supervisor prior to review by the ethics committee. Your named supervisor will need to complete and return to you a completed peer review form. Please ensure that an adequate peer review has been obtained by your supervisor and uploaded onto your online submission. Please note that any actions or recommendations highlighted during the peer review process must be actioned prior to submission of your application.
Please ensure your supervisor is aware that you have named them in your ethics application and that your application has been submitted and is ready for their review and approval.

Application Submission Process

All research ethics applications are submitted via the Online Research Ethics Management System (OREMS).

The committee operates a two stage ethics review process. A quick run through of the checklist questions will determine whether your ethics application will need to be taken to committee, or whether it can be reviewed by the chair as an expedited ‘light touch review’. Do bear in mind that you must upload all participant facing supporting documentation for review by the chair in either case. 

To submit a full research ethics application for the committee to review, please complete your ethics application via OREMS in accordance with the guidelines, and submit it together with relevant supporting material via the online ethics tool. All or some of these documents may be required for your application: 

  • Recruitment adverts / messages / forms 

  • Participant Information sheet / transcript 

  • Consent form 

  • Debriefing sheet / transcript 

  • Questionnaire(s) / Topic Guide 

  • Peer review (required) 

  • Any other relevant material (e.g. letter of access from a site where you wish to undertake your research, an unpublished questionnaire enquiring about possibly sensitive topics or collecting personal data). 

Please feel free, whether student or staff, to contact the Research Governance and Ethics Officer, if you have any queries regarding ethics of research for planned studies or for any ethical issue which may arise in existing projects.

Facilitation of Review and Response of Submitted Research Ethics Applications :

As soon as your application has been finalised and submitted, contact the Research and Ethics Integrity Manager to advise them of your application submission. The Research Ethics and Integrity Manager will liaise with the HSSREC secretary to facilitate a review of your ethics application.
The committee reviews all applications virtually but has the right to call a ‘physical’ meeting if needed. Committee members will review and comment on your ethics application. The committee comments will be collated and a response fed back to the applicants by the committee secretary.

Why do I need ethics approval?

The University is globally recognised for the quality of its research. In order to maintain and uphold the high standards of our research we continue to undertake initiatives to ensure that integrity, ethics and excellence are at the core of our research activities. It is the responsibility of academic staff, students and their supervisors to undertake their research in an ethical manner. This needs to be embedded from the planning stage through to writing up and publication.
It is incredibly important for students to familiarise themselves with the research ethics process, especially if they are considering a career in research or academia. The skills gained in creating and submitting your first ethics applications will stand you in good stead throughout your career.
Please refer to the Statement on Research Integrity for further information.
All research within the University involving human participants, tissue and/or data must undergo a research ethics review. If you are not sure whether you need to apply for ethics approval, just speak to your supervisor or contact the Research Ethics and Integrity Manager.

Some basic examples of research projects that would require ethics approval are:
• Interviews and focus groups with healthy volunteers recruited via newspapers, online advertisements or third party organisations such as schools or charities.
• An intervention to reduce smoking amongst adolescents contacted through their schools.
• A survey of dietary habits and weights of school children contacted through their schools.
• A survey of medical students, contacted via email, asking about their course workload and levels of stress.
• An investigation of the dental health of elderly people in residential homes, contacted through the home managers.
• A questionnaire study of learning styles amongst medical students, students being invited to take part during tutorials.
FoHS peer review form (Office document, 46kB)
FoHS consent form template (Office document, 61kB)
FoHS participant information sheet template (Office document, 57kB)

HSSREC Membership

Patricia Neville (Chair) – Bristol Dental School
Gayle Hanbury (Secretary) – Health Sciences Faculty Office
Leila Rooshenas - Bristol Medical School
Ela Chakkarapani - Bristol Medical School
Giovanni Biglino - Bristol Medical School
Kate Birchenall – Bristol Medical School
Beverly Shirkey – Bristol Medical School
Peter Fowler – Bristol Dental School
Patricia Albers – Bristol Medical School
Karl Scheeres - Bristol Veterinary School
Christin Hoffmann - Bristol Medical School
Setor Kunutsor – Bristol Medical School
Kate Northstone – Bristol Medical School
Sarah Allsop – Bristol Medical School
Daisy Gaunt – Bristol Medical School
Clare England – Bristol Dental School
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