Health and Social Care research

Applications for approval by the Health Research Authority - projects conducted in the NHS, HMPPS and Social Care research.

Guidance for applications for approval by the Health Research Authority (HRA) for research projects conducted in the NHS Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS); and Social Care settings.

Research involving the NHS

Where research involves patients, service users, organs, tissue, data or other bodily material or is to be conducted on NHS property you may need Health Research Authority (HRA) approval. Please note this will be in addition to, and in advance of, the University’s research ethics approval.

Details on how to apply for NHS approval using the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS) are available on the HRA website. For University guidance on submitting an IRAS form, you must contact the Research Ethics team at researchethics@uwe.ac.uk. If you are unsure as to whether you require NHS approval, please refer to the approval guidance available on the HRA website.

Research within the NHS, whether or not you need NHS Research Ethics Committee approval, usually needs management approval from the host NHS organisation and this needs to be applied for through the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS).

In addition to the HRA approval, staff and students must also complete the ethics application form (DOC) and attach the HRA approval letter, IRAS application and all associated documents to their respective Faculty Research Ethics Committee (FREC) for consideration of ethical approval.

If your project extends or changes, you'll need to submit an amendment to the UWE Bristol Research Ethics Committee and inform other relevant ethics committees (for example, the Health Research Authority).

Research using human tissue

All human tissue research requires ethical approval and must be registered on the UWE Bristol Human Tissue Research Register. See University guidance on human tissue research.

Social Care research

Ethical approval is required through the Social Care Research Ethics Committee (SCREC) for social care research projects.

Please note that you will also need to complete the ethics application form and attach the SCREC approval letter, IRAS application and any associated documents to your Faculty Research Ethics Committee (FREC) for consideration of ethical approval.

Research in prisons and the probation service

If the project is with prisons or probation trusts, an application to Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) – formerly NOMS - will be required. Please refer to the HMPPS website for more information about the application process.

Please note that you will also need to complete the ethics application form (DOC) and attach the HMPPS approval letter, IRAS application and any associated documents to your Faculty Research Ethics Committee (FREC) for consideration of ethical approval.

Research sponsorship

The University's guidance on research sponsorship (PDF) provides clarification on the role and responsibilities of the research sponsor.

Research Passport

The Research Passport (PDF) provides a mechanism for pre-engagement information about a researcher to be shared with relevant NHS organisations in which the applicant will be conducting research. It includes an occupational health assessment, employment/student screening and DBS.

For members of staff, Human Resources will deal with applications for all Research Passports. Contact the HR Team: HR@uwe.ac.uk.

For students, please refer to the Research Passport application process for students (PDF).