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School of the Biological Sciences



Ethical approval for work with patients of hospital consultants accessed through the consultant would normally be given by the Local Research Ethics Committee.

Applications for ethical approval for investigations in human psychology should be made to the Cambridge Psychology Research Ethics Committee.

In accordance with University policy, research involving human participants or personal data should not begin until proper ethical review has taken place and approval given. Retrospective ethical reviews are therefore not permitted.

Human Tissue from Biobanks: Permission is not required to use samples received from a biobank as long as that biobank has REC approval for generic research use.

Applications for ethical approval are submitted to the Committee on the application form (see box). Answer all questions using the notes provided for guidance. Append any additional information (participant information sheets, consent forms, adverts and so on), labelling them as appendices. Further information is given on the application form. Once complete, submissions are sent as email attachments to:

Applications are reviewed by two Committee members from departments other than that of the applicant(s). The Committee is constituted from senior members of departments from which applications are commonly made. The current (2024) members are:

Christine Farr, Department of Genetics

Rufus Johnstone, Department of Zoology

Julian Parkhill - Department of Veterinary Medicine

Gavin Pettigrew (Chair), Department of Surgery

Stewart Sage, Department of Physiology, Development & Neuroscience

Christof Schwiening, Department of Physiology, Development & Neuroscience

Appointments to the Committee do not have a limit, but are normally for at least three years.

Submission checklist

It is recommended that you complete the following checklist prior to making your submission.

Have you included the following documents in your submission?

-Completed application form

-Signatures of all applicants

-Consent forms

-Participant information sheets

-Submitted grants

-Recruitment flowchart

-Recruitment letters, adverts, etc.