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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Guidance for supervisors

BSMS > Research > Support and governance > RGEC hub > Guidance for supervisors

Guidance for supervisors

If you are a supervisor of either a BSMS taught student (undergraduate or postgraduate) or a postgraduate research student, you will be actively involved in the online submission of your student’s ethics application.

All BSMS student ethics applications are made and submitted electronically via the online ethics review application system in Sussex Direct via the link below.

Visit Sussex Direct here >

Applications for a range of health-related research involving healthy human participants, their biomaterial, or personal data are all eligible for review.

Please note that the category of student is important since it determines the review pathway in Sussex Direct. 

  • A separate review pathway operates for undergraduate and postgraduate taught student research judged as posing few risks to participants using an in-built risk assessment checklist.  Eligible projects receive expedited ethics review from a BSMS School Research Ethics Officer (SREO). Genuinely low risk projects for which the application is appropriately completed will be reviewed within 10 working days.
  • Taught student projects involving higher risk activities, such as in-person fieldwork, continue to be reviewed via the BSMS Research Governance and Ethics Committee (RGEC).
  • All PGR student applications are reviewed by RGEC, which meets monthly at scheduled meetings. (A review slot must be booked at a scheduled RGEC meeting for the review of the application. These are available on request by contacting RGEC:, and operate on a first come first served basis. Please note that RGEC deadlines and meetings only refer to PGR student applications. UG/PGT applications are reviewed by an SREO, unless deemed high risk).

*Students must not begin any data collection or fieldwork until they have received confirmation that their application has been approved by either the SREO or RGEC*

Quick links

Supervisor authorisation in Sussex Direct >
Useful forms, guidance and resources for supervisors >
Further support >

Supervisor authorisation in Sussex Direct

Supervisors of BSMS UG, PGT, and PGR students have been amalgamated into the ethics review process and will need to authorise their student’s application in Sussex Direct. The completed application is transferred by the student to their supervisor. The system generates an email (sent to their University of Sussex email address) to alert the supervisor that an application requires their review. Students must ensure the application is completed to the satisfaction of the supervisor (including undertaking any supervisor directed changes) before submission for ethics review. The SREO/RGEC will return incomplete applications.

  • A BSMS faculty supervisor with a BSMS email address linked to a University of Sussex ITS account is required to authorise the student’s application in Sussex Direct to ensure appropriate oversight for supervised research. 
  • Supervisor authorisation is a 2-step process: 
    • The supervisor approves the application (which results in a system generated notification to the student). (Select ‘Enter Decision’ > ‘Decision Status’ – select ‘Approved by supervisor’; or ‘Returned for revision (by supervisor)’ and provide an explanation of the return in the free text box that appears). 
    • The application is flagged for submission and a ‘Submit to C-REC’ button is visible in the supervisor’s queue of ‘Applications submitted for supervisor approval’. The supervisor transfers the application to a SREO/RGEC for ethics review via a ‘Submit to BSMS SREO for review’ button located at the bottom of the application. Supervisors of taught students should select the appropriate SREO (for undergraduate or postgraduate taught applications) for review. 

Useful forms, guidance and resources for supervisors

  • A Supervisor’s Checklist offers guidance on whether a student’s project is ready for ethics review


  • The Applicant Checklist provides guidance on supporting study documentation students should include as part of the application:


  • A Word version of the online ethics review application form used by taught students for applying for SREO review provides a template that students can use when preparing an application.


  • A Word version of the online ethics review application form used by PGRs for applying for RGEC review provides a template that students can use when preparing an application.


Further support

For general queries and submissions, and to book a slot for the review of a PGR application at a scheduled BSMS Research Governance and Ethics Committee (RGEC) meeting:

If you have a specific query concerning a project further advice may be sought from the Senior Research Ethics and Integrity Officer (BSMS), Alice Ashford: