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Joint Research Management Office

Queen Mary Ethics of Research Committee

The Committee is comprised of a range of academic, research staff and student representatives from across the University representing all the Faculties; led by a lay independent Chair, supported by a Deputy Chair.  Each Panel has at least one invited member from each Faculty.

Decisions, Responses and Approvals

Following the Committee’s review (not applicable to low-risk research), the lead applicant will receive a written response advising on the outcome.  The options available to the Committee are any one of the following:

  1. Approved
  2. Approved: with advice
  3. Conditional Approval: with specific conditions*
  4. Referred to the main Committee: (where an application is upgraded from Panel Review to the main Committee to reflect the risk, significant ethical issues or sensitive nature of the study)
  5. Referred to NHS or other external Ethics Committee (see above Who need not apply)
  6. Deferred*: in the case where the Committee considers the proposal to require significant further work or information
  7. Rejected

* Conditional Approval and Deferment opinions are valid for three months from the date of issue. The lead applicant has a maximum of three months to reply to the Committee’s outcome letter, and if this date is exceeded without a response received by the Research Ethics office, the application will be withdrawn and resubmission is required.

Amendments and Oversight

Amendments

Should you need to make changes to your study after approval, please contact the Research Ethics team for guidance about the type of Amendment and the process to be followed for further approval. Amendments are classified as either Major or Minor.

Some examples of Major amendments:

  • Changes to the design or methodology of the study, or to background information likely to have a significant impact on its scientific value;
  • Changes likely to have a significant impact on the safety or physical or mental integrity of participants, or to the risk/benefit assessment for the study;
  • Significant changes to study documentation;
  • A change of sponsor or the insurance or indemnity arrangements for the study;
  • Appointment of a new lead applicant; and
  • Any other significant change to the original REC application.

Some examples of Minor amendments:

  • Minor changes to the protocol or other study documentation, e.g. correcting errors, updating contact points, minor clarifications;
  • Short time extensions; and
  • Additional named student researchers.

The maximum number of Amendments per study is one major and two minor Amendments, with exemptions only in exceptional circumstances.

Unexpected Deviations

Please contact the Research Ethics team - research-ethics@qmul.ac.uk - in case of any unexpected events or deviations from the proposed protocol as per the original QMERC application.

End of Study notification (only applicable to studies given ethics approval on or after 1 January 2020)

Please complete the End of Study Notification [DOC 52KB] within 3 months of the end of a study, and submit it by email to the Research Ethics team: research-ethics@qmul.ac.uk    

Annual Progress Reporting (only applicable to studies lasting 1year+ and given ethics approval on or after 1 January 2020)

You should complete an Annual Progress Report [DOC 52KB] form on the 12-month anniversary of the QMERC’s approval letter and every year after that. Only applicable for studies with a duration of 1 year +.  Please complete and submit by email to the Research Ethics team: research-ethics@qmul.ac.uk   

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