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Research Governance

Research governance is the collection of systems and procedures that:

  • Prescribes standards for research.
  • Defines the mechanisms to deliver those standards.
  • Describes monitoring and assessment arrangements.


The main mechanisms for delivering research governance at the University are the Research Ethics Committee, The Research Ethics Policy and the Research Office.

Research at the University of 51 is governed with and for our wider academic community, from student researchers to readers and professors. The Research and Innovation Committee, which reports directly to our most senior academic committee (Academic Board), oversees the work of a wide range of different fora, each of which upholds an ongoing commitment to inclusive research administration:

    • Research Ethics Committee
    • Research Degrees Board of Examiners
    • Research Degrees Group
    • REF Project Team
    • REF Project Team Equality and Diversity Sub-Group

Members include representatives from our postgraduate researcher community, Professional Services staff, honorary lay members external to the University with knowledge and experience in key sectors, representatives of our contract researcher cohort, and research leads from each of our academic areas.

All research governance at the University is supported centrally by the Research Office.

Research ethics

The University has in place robust systems for establishing and delivering high ethical standards for its research, and for ensuring that those standards are effectively monitored over time. The principle body responsible for this is the Research Ethics Committee.

ճ, upheld by the Research Ethics Committee, seeks to empower individuals to take responsibility for and negotiate ethical issues arising from their research activities. A key responsibility of the Research Ethics Committee is to oversee applications for ethical review in accordance with the University Ethics Policy.

The Committee may withhold approval for research that is not in compliance with the Policy, and reserves the right both to remove items that contravene the Policy from the University’s Research Repository, and to request that the outcomes of such research be withdrawn from other public platforms. The Committee also has the authority to investigate breaches of ethical practice in research, and may, where necessary, recommend that further investigation is undertaken in line with the University’s Disciplinary Policy.

The University is aligned to , and publishes an annual statement demonstrating how it is satisfying the Concordat’s requirements. You can find this annual statement here.

See the data protection page for additional information on the University’s approach to, and compliance with, data protection legislation.

Researcher Code of Conduct

Research undertaken at the University is underpinned by the highest standards of rigour and integrity. The University adopts the following principles:


The University and its researchers should strive for excellence when conducting research and aim to produce and disseminate work of the highest quality. This Code, its Principles and its Standards, are intended to support these goals.


The University should work to create and maintain a culture of research that fosters and supports honesty in research. Researchers should be honest in relation to their own research and that of others. They should do their utmost to ensure the accuracy of data and results, acknowledge the contributions of others, and neither engage in misconduct nor conceal it.


The University and its researchers must comply with all legal and ethical requirements relevant to their field of study. They should declare any potential or actual conflicts of interest relating to research and where necessary take steps to resolve them.


The University and its researchers should promote the open exchange of ideas, research methods, data and results and their discussion, scrutiny and debate, subject to any considerations of confidentiality.


The University and its researchers should recognise that in and through their work they are ultimately accountable to the general public and should act accordingly. They should ensure that any research undertaken complies with applicable legislation, (e.g., data protection legislation) any agreements, terms and conditions relating to the project, and allows for proper governance and transparency. Researchers should follow the requirements and guidance of any professional bodies in their field of research. Researchers who are members of a regulated profession must follow the requirements and guidance of the body regulating their profession. 

Training and Skills

The University’s commitment to the development of its researchers is reflected in the comprehensive and growing programme of training activities offered by the Research Office, which draws on the expertise of its entire research community.


The University and its researchers should ensure the dignity, rights, safety and wellbeing of all involved in research and avoid unreasonable risk or harm to research subjects, patients, participants, researchers and others. They should report and address any concerns relating to the dignity, rights, safety and well-being of those involved in research. Research should be initiated and continued only if the anticipated benefits justify the risks involved; this is within the context of all the Code as whole, the University’s Research Ethics Policy and the University’s portfolio.

Breaches of the code

The University has procedures for the investigation of misconduct in research available on the University’s website. These procedures are in addition to the University’s disciplinary procedures and are based upon the Procedure for the Investigation of Misconduct in Research produced by the UK Research Integrity Office (2008).

Academic standards for research degrees are covered under our Higher Degree Regulations.

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