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Faculty of Education

Guidance and FAQs (Staff)

The term DEL is used below to refer to one of your Departmental Ethics Leads. 


Q: How should I submit my form? 

A: All forms should be submitted electronically to your DEL. You must submit your form from Liverpool Hope staff account. For security reasons we only accept forms submitted in this way. If you submit a form from your personal email account it will not be accepted which could result in your form missing the deadline. 


Q: Which form should I complete? 

A: The most up to date versions of all our ethics forms are available on the main Ethics Sub-Committee web page. If your research does not involve human beings, you should use the short form; in all other circumstances you should use the full (long) form. It is your responsibility to complete and submit the correct form, ensuring all sections are completed. Incomplete or incorrect forms submitted will automatically be returned to you for correction. If you are unsure, please ask your DEL for guidance. 


Q: I missed a Faculty Research Ethics Sub-Committee meeting deadline, what should I do?

A: Check with your DEL to see if your request has to go to the Sub-Committee. Your DEL may be able to approve it themselves. If it does need to the Sub-Committee, there are two options available. One, wait until the next time the Sub-committee meets. Two, you ask your DEL to see if your request can be considered outside the normal processes. If you do this you will need to justify why you missed the deadline, and why it is important that your application be considered.


Q: Can I get my ethics approved after I have begun my research?

A: No, there are no circumstances in which this can happen. The University is extremely clear that no one can have their ethics approved retrospectively. If you go ahead with your fieldwork without proper ethical clearance, you will be liable for any issues which arise, and you will not be allowed to use any of the data in your completed piece of work.


Q: How long is my ethics approval valid for?

A: Normally, unless otherwise stated, your ethics approval lasts for the duration of the project (if less than one year). Projects due to continue across a number of years require a light-touch re-approval annually. Discuss the best way to achieve this with your DEL.


Q: How secure does data I collect really need to be?

A: If you are keeping hard copies of data it must be kept in a secure locked cupboard or drawer. For electronic data you need to password protect individual files, not just your PC or laptop.


Q: How long should I keep the data I have collected?

A: This can depend on the research you are doing, and if for example you wish to do further research from your data. You should at the very least keep it until you have completed your project. However, your form and Research Information Sheet(s) must clearly state when the data will be destroyed.


Q: Who do I need to seek consent from? 

A: Consent should be sought from ALL participants, irrespective of age or ability. With children (anyone up to the age of 18) you will need to seek parental consent. The University strongly encourages, but does not insist, that you seek the consent of the child too; depending upon the ages of the children involved, you may need to adapt either or both of the Research Information Sheet and Consent Form. If your research involves adults whose ability to give full consent is impaired, you must seek your supervisor's guidance on how to deal with this.


Q: I don’t think there are any risks to my research, do I need to complete this part?

A: All research has potential risks; these may be minimal, but you need to demonstrate that you have considered them. 'No' or 'N/A' is acceptable as a response to the prompt about Physical Risk, but not to the prompt to Psychological risk in this section. 


Q: What happens if I want to change my project slightly?

A: If you are changing an aspect of your project it might need re-approval. Please discuss this with your DEL.


Q: Do I need ethical approval for research using data in the public domain - eg. Ofsted Inspection data - of particular schools or HEIs?

A: Yes, the Faculty of Education policy is very clear that all research requires ethical approval.