Introduction

You will not be able to start data collection on your project unless and until you have ethical approval from the relevant university ethics committee.

For students on taught courses there are, essentially, three kinds of routes to gaining ethical approval :-

  1. If you intend to run any form of behavioural experiment on humans then you will need to apply to the Departmental Ethics Committee and the information and forms provided here are relevant to this particular route. 
  2. If you intend to test non-human animals then ethical approval is provided by the Ethics Committee in the Biology Department. Dr Katie Slocombe will be able to advise on how to go about this.
  3. If you intend to run an experiment at YNiC then you will need to approach your supervisor who will be able to provide the necessary advice about how to gain ethical approval from the YNiC ethics committee.

In some cases it is possible to run EEG/tDCS studies in the department even though, typically, these are carried out in YNiC. If you are intending to do this then you need to follow the instructions contained on this page.

The process

As will become clear, special cases are those that involve :-

  1. testing children and/or vulnerable adults
  2. making audio, visual and/or audio visual recordings 
  3. deception

The committee will closely scrutinise these case and (in cases 1 and 2) you will need to submit additional consent and/or information forms when you submit your application.

Other cases that are likely to exercise the committee (the list is not exhaustive) are :-

To expedite the process and to help the committee concentrate on the sensitive cases you should alert the committee to anything that you take to be a sensitive issue.

On your application form, you (and your supervisor) are invited to draw the attention of the committee to your case if you think it raises sensitive issues.

Applications are processed at fixed times throughout the year. You will be provided with key dates when these become available and you will be notified of the committee's decisions as soon as possible after the committee has considered all the relevant applications.


To be clear you cannot start data collection unless and until you have the requisite ethical approval.

Links to additional forms, links etc.

A brisk (ppt) intro to Ethics 101 can be found here