Ethical review self-assessment form for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students

Data submitted via this form will be handled in line with the University of Surrey's information management policies.


Most studies involving human or animal participants, data or tissues collected from human or animal participants require some form of ethical scrutiny.

You should, after discussion with your supervisor, complete this self-assessment form to determine whether your study will need ethical approval and if so which form of ethical review is required.

Do not complete this form if you are are a student undertaking a PhD or EngD, or a member of staff: please visit the Research Integrity and Governance information on SurreyNet to find out more. 

Project details
Level of research
1. Does your study involve animals or their data?
2. Does the study require review by an NHS Research Ethics Committee?
Research participants
3a. Is the research to be carried out by persons unconnected with the University, but wishing to use staff and/or students as participants?
3b. Does the study involve prisoners or young offenders?
3c. Does the study involve children under 16 years or other vulnerable groups such as those 16 and over who may feel under pressure to take part due to their connection with the researcher?
3d. Do you plan to provide financial payments or payments in kind to participants above reimbursement for travel or out of pocket expenses, provision of refreshments or entry into a low-value prize draw, or could the compensation amount be an hourly rate more than the minimum wage or more than £100 in total, or do you otherwise plan to offer incentives which may unduly influence participants’ decision to participate?
3e. Are you investigating existing working or professional practices at the University of Surrey among participants, identifiable to yourself as the researcher (i.e. to ask university employees about their work at the University)?
Research protocol
4a. Does the study involve any risk to a participant’s health or well-being (for example intrusive physiological or psychological procedures)?
4b. Does the study involve the use of surveys, questionnaires and any research, the nature of which might be offensive, distressing or deeply personal for the particular target group, even if the individuals are not identifiable?
4c. Does the research involve the new collection or donation of human tissue from a living person or the recently deceased according to the Human Tissue Authority?
4d. Does the study involve any of the following?
  • Previously collected human tissue or data where consent for use in research has not been given, or the proposed research is not within the terms of consent? E.g. different types of analyses are carried out or for different aims than the participant initially gave consent for.
  • Previously collected human tissue or data where samples will be held on premises in England, Wales or Northern Ireland without a license from the Human Tissue Authority to store relevant material for scheduled purposes?
  • Previously collected human tissue or data where the study also involves the removal, storage or use of new samples from the living or deceased?
4e. Does the research require participants to take part in the study without their knowledge and/or consent at the time (e.g. covert observations, emergency research)?
4f. Does the research involve deception other than withholding information about the aims of the research until the debriefing?
4g. Does the research involve activities where the safety/ wellbeing of the researcher may be in question?
4h. Could the behavioural/physiological intervention incidentally lead to discovery of ill health or concerns about wellbeing in a participant, even if the intervention in itself causes no more than minimal stress to the research participant?
Data protection
5a. Are you planning to access records of and/or collect personal confidential data concerning identifiable individuals as defined by the UK Data Protection Act 1998?
5b. Are you linking or sharing personal data or confidential information beyond the initial consent given (including linked data gathered outside of the UK)?
5c. Will you collect or access audio/video recordings, photographs or quotations within which participants may be identifiable and with the intention to disseminate those beyond the research team?