Procedures for Ethics-Approval of Research and Teaching
Scope of Ethical Issues Handled by the Department
The Department has to consider three aspects of research work which give rise to ethical issues:
The Biomedical Physics Group conducts research or project
studies which involve healthy volunteers and, in conjunction with hospitals,
volunteer patients. These volunteers may be adults, minors or infants.
Any research group within the Department may be involved in external contract
work or sponsorship at some time.
It may be necessary to ask more searching questions concerning the ethics of
asking research workers to use hazardous substances.
In the past research proposals for the first category have been submitted to the Ethics
Committee of the Local Health Authority prior to submission to a grant awarding body. This
procedure has protected the rights of the subjects volunteering to take part in research
projects. However, to take account of any future change in the nature of research, which may
involve subjects totally outside Health Authority responsibility, protection of subjects' rights
comparable to that provided under the Health Authority Committee must be considered. This will
apply to both funded and unfunded projects.
Outline Procedures for Handling Ethical Issues
The College has designated an officer responsible for the management of
ethical issues within the Department. The responsibilities of the
will be those laid down in the
University Ethics Policy.
A Department Ethics Committee advises on ethical issues within
the Department and assesses for approval research proposals involving the issues
The procedures for dealing with the ethical issues above are as follows.
Research or project proposals for work which involves volunteer subjects, whether hospital based
or non-clinical, will be submitted to the Department Ethics Committee through the
designated officer. The officer will then decide whether the proposal should go before the
Department Ethics Committee for consideration of be presented to the appropriate hospital or trust
committee. In the latter case the Ethics Officer will liaise with the applicant and the Chairman
of the local Hospital or Trust Committee to ensure that the applicant is aware of the
requirements of that Committee.
In the case of proposals involving external contract or sponsorship the applicant will be
provided with a checklist. The applicant must indicate that they are satisfied that the academic
freedom and publication rights are not compromised in any agreement. This will be filed in the
Department Office along with a copy of the application or contract. The Head of Discipline
will establish that the best interests of the University and Department have been met before giving
approval to any contract.
In most cases, ethical issues arising from the use of hazardous substances will be satisfied by
ensuring that the relevant regulations of COSHH have been adhered to and sufficient information
on the risks involved is contained in the written information given to the research worker
Department Ethics Committee
Details of membership and remit are given elsewhere. The procedures are as follows:
The Department Ethics Committee will specify the format in which proposals should be
submitted. Much of the information will be entered onto a proforma with a more
detailed proposal attached.
Written details of the Ethics Committee procedures will be issued to relevant
members of the Department.
The Ethics Officer will be responsible for maintaining records of the Ethics
Declaration of Interest
Any member of the Ethics Committee who has an interest which may affect
consideration of a particular research proposal will be asked to declare that
interest and, if necessary, will temporarily with draw from the Committee.