Research Ethics

Research Ethics

All researchers must follow the Operation Guidelines for University of Limerick Research Ethics & Governance Committees

All researchers, including FYP and MRP students, must receive approval from the Education and Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee before they begin collecting data. Each student must prepare an application in conjunction with their supervisor. The supervisor will then submit the completed application.

An ethics application should consist of:

  • The Ethical Approval Form (guidelines for completion are here)
  • An Informed Consent Form (or alternative means of establishing informed consent if written consent is not appropriate, e.g. if the participant has restricted literacy)
  • Participant Information Sheet (which must be distinct from the consent form)
  • A Debriefing Information Sheet to give participants after the research is complete (e.g. if the research involves any sort of deception)
  • All other supporting documentation, including questionnaires, flyers, ads, and so forth.

Each proposal will be read by a member of the Committee (and the Chair). The Committee will meet to discuss each application and agree a decision. The lead investigator will be informed of the outcome by email, usually within 3 weeks, of the decision and will receive feedback from the Committee. In the case of projects involving undergraduate and postgraduate students, the supervisor is the lead investigator and will forward the outcome to the student. One of the following four possible decisions will be made:

  1. Accept as is
  2. Accept with minor changes
  3. Revise and resubmit after major revision
  4. Reject (including reasons for the rejection)

If, in the process of conducting your research, you make substantial changes to your design or procedure, the lead investigator must complete a chairs action form and submit this to the ethics administrator.

It is important that you maintain a record of your ethical approval. You must also report any complaints or ethical issues that arise during the course of your research. It is always possible that the University of Limerick Research Ethics & Governance Committee will audit the Department to ensure that researchers are adhering to the ethical guidelines.

All researchers must abide by the University of Limerick's guidelines for ethical research with human participants. Information about University Research Ethics can be found here. All Psychology researchers, including undergraduate and postgraduate students, must adhere to the Code of Professional Ethics of the Psychological Society of Ireland.

Submission deadlines can be found here. The Head of Department must review and sign all applications before submission; therefore, you should aim to have it ready for submission at least a week in advance of these deadlines.

All submissions should be received by 12 noon.