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

To support researchers in developing the ethical aspects of their work, and to help prepare applications for ethical review, view our Ethics Guide.

This describes the principles and process used at Surrey to inform any research/teaching using human/animal participants, their data or tissue. The Ethics Guide is intended to be an easy-to-read document that conveys the key information contained within our ethics for teaching and research policy (PDF). The policy provides detailed information on the principles and procedures that underpin the promotion and maintenance of an ethical culture throughout the University. 

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:

  • Students
  • Staff
  • 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 

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.

Research Integrity and Governance Office

Research and Innovation Services

Senate House




Phone: +44 (0) 1483 68 9103 / 2051

Email: (including external sponsorship approvals)


University Ethics Committee for human research

The University Ethics Committee (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.

University Ethics Committee terms of reference and membership (PDF)

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.

Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body 

The function of the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (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 (internal staff only) or contact

Non-Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 

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

Useful links