Important Information on Coronavirus and Research Ethics

  • University of Glasgow Research Ethics College Committees will now review, and when appropriate approve research involving face to face activity on the main University campuses*. All face to face research on campus must be conducted in line with the University COVID-19 return to campus guidance. Details can be found on the University Guidance on Coronavirus for staff and students pages.
  • If you are restarting a project that was granted ethical approval pre COVID-19; or was granted approval in principle, any amended documents intended to provide participants with information about the research should be submitted to the approving Committee. If you are changing the way you collect or store data as a result of COVID-19 social distancing measures you should also notify the approving Committee of any amended data management plans. The Request for Amendments to an Approved Application form should be submitted via email. (See Forms and Guidance Notes links on this page.)
  • Ethical approval does not necessarily mean that the research can go ahead. In addition to ethical approval, all research activity involving a physical presence on campus must be discussed and approved by individual Schools/Institutes. This is the responsibility of the investigators. If needed, you should discuss this with a relevant line manager in your Institute/School.
  • In relation to overseas data collection, at present the UK Government advises against all but essential travel to some countries and territories. Detailed guidance on the requirements of the country you are travelling to are available on the UK Government Foreign Travel website and this should be consulted before travel arrangements are made. The University Guidance on Coronavirus must be consulted and there is additional information for researchers available at Research Information Management advice
  • Applications that plan to adopt virtual/digital/online approaches subject to the usual review process may still be approved but the final point below is extremely important. Some guidance on tools for online data collection is available on Data Management Advice March 2023 (Word Doc).
  • The responsibility lies with researchers to confirm that ethical approval is not required when using secondary data sources: refer to Secondary data (not requiring ethical approval) 27042020 (Word Doc). before commencing research.
  • * If you intend to conduct face to face research in the community, in participants' homes or in any overseas territories you must comply with all relevant Scottish Government or relevant local government social distancing measures in place at the time of the proposed research. For overseas research activity the ethics committee will expect to see evidence of local social distancing requirements and compliance measures before any research is proposed.
  • Please be aware that if local or campus specific lockdowns need to be introduced or re-instated at any point, face to face research may not be permitted. Updates will be posted on University COVID research webpages should this occur.
  • If working remotely, data protection legislation and data management plans must be followed. Any researchers conducting studies involving participants should consider the implications of any IT limitations on data management plans and ensure that all research continues to comply with GDPR. Please contact for further advice.