Increasingly, research funding bodies require institutions, which they support, to have and operate an active and rigorous process for the scrutiny of ethical implications of individual research projects. The LSE Research Ethics Policy forms part of the School's over-arching Ethics Code. It sets out the procedure for obtaining independent ethical scrutiny of research proposals by the LSE Research Ethics Committee.
Researchers should follow the step-by-step guide below when devising research proposals involving human participants, personal, medical or otherwise sensitive data or methodologically controversial approaches. It provides pointers to direct researchers’ thinking about the ethical dimensions of their research.
It is expected that researchers will already have addressed the academic justification for the project in their proposal; the guide aims to help researchers address specific ethical issues in so far as they relate to participants or data.
If you have any queries contact Lyn Grove on firstname.lastname@example.org
Step-by-step guide to obtaining ethical approval
Read the LSE Research Ethics Policy and Procedures (revised November 2014)
Complete the checklist in Annex B.
If you answered 'no' to all questions in the checklist, proceed to Part II of Annex B: Self-Certification/next steps. Submit this to your Head of Department, Research Centre Director, or their administrations as appropriate.
If you answered 'yes' to question 5 of the checklist, i.e. your research may be subject to specific ethics review by an external ethics committee, send the completed checklist to email@example.com for reference and submit your research to the appropriate external body for ethics approval. Once ethics approval is granted send a copy of the letter of approval together with any relevant documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org for the records of the LSE Research Ethics Committee.
If you answered 'yes' or 'not certain' to any other questions in part I of the checklist, you will need to complete the Research Ethics Review Questionnaire in part III. I having done so you are wholly assured that adequate safeguards in relation to the ethical issues raised can and will be put in place, the form should be signed by the member of staff (or student and their supervisor), and submit this to your Head of Department, Research Centre Director, or their administrations as appropriate. However, if concerns remain regarding the issues raised, the form should be returned to email@example.com for approval by the LSE Research Ethics Committee. A timeframe for REC decision-making can be found on the Research Ethics Committee webpage. If you have a specific deadline which needs to be met please let us know.