In 2010, the University of Sussex established a revised research governance structure designed to ensure that all university-sponsored research is conducted in line with best ethical practice, to ensure all legislative, regulatory and funding requirements are met, and to safeguard the reputation of the university.
A further goal of the revised structure is to ensure consistency in standards and practice across the university in relation to research governance and ethics. For further guidance, please see Sussex's information on research governance.
As part of this governance framework, Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) is committed to ensuring that the dignity, rights and well-being of research participants are taken into consideration in the conduct of all research projects being undertaken within the School, or carried out by BSMS staff or students in the our partner hospital Trusts or elsewhere.
Before research projects can commence researchers are required to obtain ethical and governance approval. The BSMS Research Governance and Ethics Committee (RGEC) is responsible for reviewing studies involving healthy volunteers. While projects involving NHS patients, their tissue and/or data, or NHS staff must be submitted to the Health Research Authority (HRA) for review. Detailed guidance about applying to the Health Research Authority can be found on the HRA website.
If human tissue is to be collected, processed and/or stored, 'Working with human tissue' offers guidance on how to proceed.
Any application received by the BSMS Research Governance and Ethics Committee will be reviewed in detail by a panel of qualified experts (relevant to the project) and, where necessary, external colleagues with specialist expertise. The Committee consider all aspects of governance and ethics related to research involving healthy volunteer participants, and are responsible for ensuring the integrity and quality of all approved research proposals.