Applying for ethical approval for research: the main issues
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Applying for ethical approval for research: the main issues

Leslie Gelling Reader in nursing, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, England

The need to obtain research ethical approval is common to all research involving human participants. This approval must be obtained before research participants can be approached and before data collection can begin. The process of ethical review is one way that research participants can be confident that possible risks have been considered, minimised and deemed acceptable. This article outlines some of the main issues researchers should consider when planning an application for research ethical approval by answering the following six questions: ‘Do I need research ethical approval?’, ‘How many applications will I need to make?’, ‘Where should I apply for research ethical approval?’, ‘What do I need to include in my application?’, ‘What do research ethics committees look for?’ and ‘What other approvals might I need?’ Answering these questions will enable researchers to navigate the ethical review process.

Nursing Standard. 30, 20, 40-44. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.20.40.s46


Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 21 May 2015

Accepted: 06 July 2015