Undergraduate research projects in the life sciences encompass a broad range of studies, some of which may require the participation of human subjects or other activities which may raise ethical concerns. As universities are accountable for all projects undertaken under their auspices they must ensure that these projects adhere to legal requirements, use acceptable research methods, represent an appropriate use of resources, and minimise risks to all research participants. Many student projects in UK universities are not subject to external review, and individual universities have established their own internal ethical review processes. This paper discusses the risks and benefits of student research projects, considers the range of ethical review processes performed in UK universities, and provides some suggestions for proportionate, transparent and efficient review of student projects.
|Publication status||Published - 2012|