Informizely customer feedback surveys

[Skip to content]

Southern Health 70 years of the NHS; 1948 - 2018
Search our Site


Before you can begin your project, you will require a number of authorisations in line with the Research Governance Framework.

The Integrated Research Application System (IRAS) is the first requirement for obtaining NHS R&D approval. This system helps to administer the appropriate level of authorisations depending on what a research study looks to investigate, or how it is going to go about researching a topic.

For guidance on how to complete an IRAS form, please visit the IRAS Website. Through an IRAS application, you can also apply approvals the appropriate Research Ethics Committee (RECs). Once the study document has been generated by IRAS, you will need to send this to the R&D office.

Once the subjected checks are satisfied, the R&D office will issue you with a formal letter of approval that has been signed by the Director of R&D. only once all of this has been completed will you be able to begin research at the Trust.

Register for an IRAS Account here



RECs are NHS Research Ethics Committees that safeguard the rights, safety, dignity and well-being of any research participant in order to determine whether a research study is ethical. With approximately one-third of the committee made up of lay members (of a non research profession), Research ethics committees are completely separate to the research sponsor. With over 6000 applications a year being submitted to the 80 research ethics committees in the United Kingdom, expect to hear back from a REC within a maximum of 60 days. Research ethics committees put participants in the centre of their ethical review.

RECs cover a wide range of research topics. These include:

  • Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products

  • Research involving Medical Devices

  • Research involving Prisoners

  • Research involving Adults Lacking Capacity

  • Establishment of Research Tissue Banks

  • Projects funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services

  • Qualitative Research

  • Questionnaire Research

  • Establishment of Research Databases


Applicants for Research Ethics Committees include:

  • Pharmaceutical and medical device companies

  • Healthcare professionals in the NHS

  • Academic researchers, including students

  • Prison health researchers


1. Complete Research Ethics Committee form in IRAS (you must register an account to access this)

              Relevant documentation will be requested as per the options     selected on IRAS

2. Book the application for ethical review

              Telephone your local REC to book a meeting date for discussion of your application. You should be given the name   of an REC, a Reference Number and submission date

3. Submit your application

You must submit your application within 4 working days of booking an appointment.

The Proportionate Review Service provides a review for studies which are proven to raise no material ethical issues. The process seen to follow this format is much shorter than a review from a  Research Ethics Committee. A sub-committee is formed in order to attempt to inform the applicant within 14 days of the application being submitted.

Guidance on what consists of a non material ethical issue can be found at the following link.

This provides a ‘No Material Ethical Issues Tool’ (NMEIT) - which acts as a screening tool for the Proportionate Review Service Applications.