Undergraduate and postgraduate (taught) research
Guidance for students who have previously received ethical approval from RGEC for research projects which involve face-to-face interactions with research participants (such as one-to-one interviews or focus groups):
All face-to-face research activity with participants has now been suspended.
Where a student’s research project is required as part of completion of a module or course, please consider changing the study methods, where possible, rather than discontinuing the project.
Please submit an Amendment to RGEC via the online ethical review application system in Sussex Direct, to provide the Committee with an audit trail for these changes. The Committee will grant expedited approval for Amendments that meet the following strict criteria:
Amendments to projects where the sole change will be to halt in-person research interactions and to now conduct these interactions online (for e.g. using Skype, online questionnaires or other University approved online systems). No further changes to the protocol originally approved by the Research Governance and Ethics Committee.
Follow guidance available on the Governance and Ethics page on the BSMS website in the User Manual regarding submission of Amendments:
more on BSMS Governance and Ethics >
This requires completing and uploading a ‘Request for Amendment Form’ that clearly outlines the proposed changes, uploading revised participant facing documents (Participant Information Sheet and Consent Form), and updating the project end date (and start date where necessary) for the application within Sussex Direct.
- Revised Participant Information Sheets and Consent Forms should be uploaded which reflect that research interactions will now be conducted online. Please include a clause to receive active consent from participants for online data that will be collected, and clarify what personal data, for e.g. contact details, will be needed, and how these data will be stored (i.e. using University approved storage and systems).
- Please clarify if any recordings of online interactions with participants will be made. These must be stored securely and only within University systems.
- A deadline should be provided to participants of when recordings, as well as any other data collected, will be destroyed.
Supervisors are responsible for ensuring the above criteria are met, especially the security of participant data, and the safety of research students.