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Joint Research Management Office

Applications and approval routes

How to apply 

  1. Follow the QMEthics link. Log in using your QMUL username (3 letters 3 numbers) and password. 
  2. Complete the application form fully and accurately. Write your participant documentation based on the QMERC Participant Information Sheet [DOC 61KB] and QMERC Consent Form template [DOC 49KB] (for DDS-approved versions see below)
  3. Sign the application form. The lead applicant (who should also be the PI) will be prompted to sign the form. Students will be prompted to send a signature request to their supervisor. Research projects with an increased risk will be prompted to request a signature from their Head of Department. Please Note: Your application will be automatically submitted only when all signatures are in place. You will get an email notification letting you know this has taken place. If you are unsure of your application's status, you can check this by logging into QMEthics and clicking on the dropdown arrow for the relevant project. You may need to 'nudge' your supervisor or Head of Department that a signature is needed.
  4. Upon receipt of your application, the team will check it for completeness, any queries will be made through direct communication with the lead applicant, including suggestions to improve the application before the ethics review.
  5. A risk assessment will also be made by the team. This may lead to an update of your application. If your study is deemed a moderate risk, it will be allocated to the next available Panel Review meeting (there are deadlines for these Panel meetings). Please see below for more detail on what risk means in terms of review. 

    NOTE: All our forms and template documents have been converted into a format and style that has been vetted and approved by the Queen Mary Disability & Dyslexia Service (DDS) and the Institute of Dentistry. Please find those versions here:

    QMERC Panel Review

    For the majority of studies, that represent no more than a moderate risk to the researcher and/or participant, the study will be reviewed by a panel meeting of the QMERC. Examples of studies that may require Panel review can be found on the Economic and Social Research Council website. Most studies that do not fall into one of these examples are assumed to be low risk. 

    Note about UG/PGT student studies:

    In general, undergraduate and taught postgraduate students should undertake projects with low levels of risk. We expect it will be unusual for UGT and PGT projects to require review by QMERC and Review Panels. Where a UGT or PGT student research project is classified as high-risk following triage by the Research Ethics Team, the student and supervisor may be advised to consider modifying the project scope and design or to provide a robust justification of why the approach is justified.

    Panel Committee meetings are held approximately every three weeks; with the application deadline falling three weeks before the meeting date. To facilitate the review of your application, and to allow the Committee to understand your study better, the lead applicant/supervisor of the research will be invited to attend the meeting (in person or by video link or phone call) and if in attendance, will receive verbal feedback on the day, with a formal written response sent shortly after (within a maximum of two weeks).

    Dates of Queen Mary Ethics of Research Committee meetings.

    Low-Risk Research

    Research that is classified as ‘low risk’ (after being assessed as such by a completed application form) may be approved via an expedited approval route. Such research typically concerns non-vulnerable adults as participants, with non-contentious subject matters being the focus of the research.

    If you think your study is eligible for the low-risk approval route, you should complete the application form and select the low-risk approval route option. This will be considered by the Research Ethics team and confirmed. Please note that for low-risk research, the lead applicant is not invited to attend a meeting.

    High-Risk Research for Review by the Main Committee of QMERC

    There will be some studies that represent an unusually high level of risk to researchers, participants, or the University, which will require review from the Main Committee of QMERC. This is a meeting of the entire QMERC membership and takes place once a semester. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss policy and procedural matters and the more complex applications that qualify for Main REC review, either by their nature or as a referral from a Review Panel.

    Block approval and devolved School REC (DSREC) review process

    Staff, Supervisors and Module Leaders can apply for block review and approval for a group of cognate research projects which are sufficiently similar and low-risk.

    Block approval is a two-stage review; the first at the central QMERC level and the second, at an independent panel of ethical reviewers at faculty. department or module level, ensuring the study is low-risk, eligible to sit under the scope of the block approval and identifies and mitigates any ethical issues.

    In order to apply for QMERC generic approval, the standard application form should be submitted to along with examples of supporting documents that researchers applying to DSREC will be expected to use. Documents could include the relevant application form (contact Facilitators for an example application form), Participant Information Sheet Template, Consent Form template, and/or an appendix detailing the procedures to be used. Please request question-specific guidance for completing a generic application.

    Applications for block approval will initially be screened by Facilitators and submitted to the next available Review Panel or a specially-arranged Chairs Panel.

    For specific guidance on completing a QMERC research ethics application for block approval, or if you are unsure whether this review route is appropriate for your group of studies, or to request templates such as Terms of Reference for DSRECs, please contact Katherine Ouseley: or the following, as appropriate:




    Electronic Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)   

    All staff & students 


    UG (GEG600 and GEG6212) 

    Politics & International Relations  

    UG (POL318) and PGT (POLM017, POLM077, POLM087, POLM097) 


    UG Linguistics Research project (LIN042) and Masters Dissertation Proseminar (LIN7005) 

    Sports & Exercise Medicine  

    PGT and iBSc Medical and Medical Engineering 

    Business & Management  

    PhD and StaffUndergraduate (BUS370, ) Postgraduate (N1Q6, N1Q1, N1Q2, NN12, BUSM100, BUSM101, BUSM102, BUSM103, BUSM105, BUSM106, BUSM168, BUSM180, BUSM184) 

    Business & Management   

    Undergraduate (BUS370, ) Postgraduate (N1Q6, N1Q1, N1Q2, NN12, BUSM100, BUSM101, BUSM102, BUSM103, BUSM105, BUSM106, BUSM168, BUSM180, BUSM184) 

    Department of Psychology    

    all staff and students 


    UG (HST6700) and PGT dissertation module in Political Thought (HST7603) and MA History (HST7621), and staff and PGR studies 

    Global Public Health   

    MSc Public Health in Practice 

    Institute of Health Sciences Education: MA/ iBSc   

    MA/ iBSc 

    Trauma Science and Emergency Medicine  

    MSc Trauma Sciences, MSc Orthopaedic Trauma, MSc Emergency and Resuscitation Medicine, MSc Paediatric Emergency Medicine. 

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