Ethics – FAQ

How do I submit an ethics application?

  • Go to Staff and students should be able to login with their usual city login details. If you have problems with logging in please contact the IT Service Desk on 8181.
  • Click on ‘Start a new research ethics application or register a project’
  • Click on ‘City, University of London’ and follow the instructions.

How can I help speed up the processing of my application?

  • Please add a note indicating the type of application your project relates to. If it relates to a taught project programme please also indicate the reviewer that has been assigned to it. For example:
    • Undergraduate project: reviewer =
    • MSc project: reviewer =
    • DPsych project: reviewer =
    • PhD student project
    • Staff project
  • You can add a note by clicking on the ‘Add note’ button on the right-hand side of the screen. A note can also be added on the last page of the application before pressing the ‘submit’ button.

How should students working in groups submit an application?

  • They should nominate one student as the main applicant and add the other students as co-applicants. Note that the other students will need to log into the system before they can be added as co-applicants as their accounts are created on first login.

How can I provide feedback to my students on their ethics applications?

  • The students should add you as their supervisor. You will then be able to add comments to each section. Be sure to untick the box to make these comments visible to your students before adding them. (If you forget to do this you will need to add the comment again.) You can also edit the application directly.

Can I be the main applicant for a student project?

  • The Senate ethics committee would prefer that students were the main applicants on student projects as it allows them to keep track of student applications relative to other applications. However, in some instances there may be good reason for having the supervisor as the main applicant and the students as co-applicants.

Can my students submit their application when they’ve finished it?

  • Students can submit applications, but they need to be approved by the supervisor first before it can proceed to the REC. You will receive an email notification when there is an application waiting for your approval.

Where can I access the latest templates for Participant Information Sheets and Consent Forms?

 Who are adults at risk?

  • The phrase ‘adults at risk’ is now used to refer to vulnerable adults

How do I know if my project is low, medium or high risk?

  • The level of risk is indicated toward the top of the browser. Please see the document titled ‘Risk criteria’ for details of criteria relating to different levels of risk.
  • Note that question M1 currently asks whether there is ‘the possibility of pain,discomfort (including psychological discomfort), inconvenience or danger’. It also includes a question that asks about administering ‘substances’ to participants. If you answer yes to either of these questions your application will be classed as high risk and forwarded to the Senate REC. If the Senate REC feels the application is not high risk they can refer it back to the Psychology REC. Please inform the Psychology Ethics Chair (Katy Tapper) if you have an application with the Senate REC that you think should come to the Psychology REC, so we can follow it up to ensure there are minimum delays in review.

Question M2 asks about deception. What counts as deception?

  • Being vague about, or not disclosing the aims of your research does not count as deception. Deception refers to instances in which you give a person false information or actively mislead them. Please see the Psychology guidelines on deception for further details.

My project is flagged as medium/high risk, but I think it should be low risk. What shall I do?

  • If you think your project should be low risk, please add a note to this effect before submitting. (Using the ‘Add note’ button on the right-hand side.) The ethics chair will check the application and re-route it as low risk where appropriate.

I’m a Visiting Lecturer and don’t have access to the system

  • Please email Szabi Steiner and he will arrange access.

How do I submit an amendment to a previously approved project?

  • If your amendment relates to a project approved via the online system, click on this application and follow the instructions.
  • If your amendment relates to a project approved at City prior to the online system click on ‘Amendments to an application approved outside of Ethics monitor’. Before submitting your amendment please indicate the name of the individual who originally reviewed your application in the ‘Add note’ section on the right-hand side of the page. (If your application was not a light touch application you can simply state ‘Committee’).

My application refers to a previously approved protocol, what do I do?

  • Answer all the questions in relation to the full project. This will flag up the application as medium risk. Attach the previously approved protocol. In the comments box before you submit, indicate you have protocol approval. The ethics chair will check this and re-route the application as low risk touch. (Please remember that protocol approvals need to be renewed after 3 years.)

I’d like to submit an application for protocol approval, what do I do?

  • Submit a regular application but include the word ‘PROTOCOL’ at the start of your title.

I’m collaborating on a project that has received ethics approval elsewhere. Do I need to do anything?

  • Any project where you, or someone you supervise at City, has contact with either participants or data needs to be registered on the online system. Otherwise you will not be covered by the university insurance.
  • To register a project click on ‘Start a new research ethics application…’ and select ‘External application’. After the registration you will be requested to upload the approval letter onto the system.

How do I obtain a sponsor support letter?

  • A sponsor support letter can be generated by registering a project on the system. Once ethics approval has been obtained the approval letter should be uploaded onto the system. This will generate an indemnity confirmation letter.

Where can I get more guidance on specific ethical issues?

There is something on the system that doesn’t work/is really confusing/is very annoying.

  • Click on the ‘Help’ button in the top right-hand corner to provide feedback. If you are experiencing technical difficulties you can contact Szabi Steiner . For feedback on question content you can also email the Psychology Ethics Chair (Katy Tapper).

Can I try the system just to see how it works, go through the questions or submit a dummy application?

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