The University of Surrey is committed to achieving an environment in which researchers have an effective and supportive infrastructure, to ensure best-practice, transparent and ethical research that complies with legal and regulatory requirements.
Our ethics policy
The University ethics policy (PDF) details the principles and procedures that underpin the promotion and maintenance of an ethical culture throughout the University. The policy is supported by the ethics handbook for teaching and research, which provides guidance for all researchers on aspects of ethics and ethical review.
The policy integrates the core elements of the concordat to support research integrity: honesty, rigour, transparency and open communication, and care and respect.
The University of Surrey aims to safeguard and promote respect for the rights, interests and wellbeing of:
- Research participants and subjects (both human and animal)
- Fellow citizens and communities (in local and global contexts).
All activities undertaken by staff and students as members of the University must comply with the University’s ethical standards.
The University also aims to preserve the physical environment and social and historical artefacts engaged with by University staff and students.
The ethical standards which apply to academic activities (including research, teaching, consultancy and outreach work) arise from the basic principle that such activities should neither include practices which directly impose a risk of serious harm nor be indirectly dependent upon such practices.
Please note that all studies may be audited. The University Ethics Committee has prepared a statement about the audit carried out during 2018 (PDF).
Research Integrity and Governance Office (RIGO)
The Research Integrity and Governance Office (RIGO) is the central point of contact for all enquiries about research ethics at the University of Surrey.
RIGO also provides support to members of the University conducting research with human participants, for those who may need external approval (including from the NHS and HRA) and for those with studies that require ethical review by the University Ethics Committee.
A member of the RIGO team holds the sponsorship role (sponsor representative) on behalf of the University for NHS Health Research Authority applications and Clinical Trial of an Investigational Medicinal Product (CTIMPs).
The RIGO also works to provide advice, resources, and opportunities to ensure that research is carried out to the highest ethical standards and in line with regulations and guidelines.
Visit the RIGO page (internal staff only) for more information.
University Ethics Committee (UEC) for human research
The UEC reviews research studies which involve human participants, human tissue and human participant data. All research staff and students at the University complete a self-assessment called Self-Assessment for Governance and Ethics (SAGE) to see if their research study needs review by the UEC before embarking on research involving humans.
Animal research committees
The University of Surrey is committed to very high standards of animal welfare; if a researcher believes that the use of animals for their research is the only way to answer an important scientific question they must apply for internal ethical approval.
The function of the AWERB is to advise and promote the full implementation of the 3Rs, especially in safeguarding the welfare of animals and reviewing harms and benefits of the research. In addition, the AWERB also advises the Establishment Licence Holder on whether or not to submit research projects to the Secretary of State. For more details please see our animal research information or contact AWERB@surrey.ac.uk
The NASPA Sub-Committee (NASPA) advises on and carries out the ethical review of activities involving animals, which fall outside the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 as amended in 2012 A(SP)A. NASPA is a sub-committee of the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB). For more details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.