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Useful Information for Applicants

Information to help you define if your research project requires review by a Research Ethics Committee can be found here

All researchers wishing to undertake a piece of research within the NHS are required to complete an IRAS form. All guidance and information is contained within the site to allow completion of the IRAS form.

Once the application is ready for submission i.e. complete with electronic authorisations etc, the applicant should contact the Central Booking Service by telephone to book a research ethics committee meeting. The number is 0161 625 7836, and further information can be found here.

The applicant will be given an Ethics Project Reference number and informed of the timescale for uploading all study documentation to IRAS (normally the same day). 

Once you have uploaded all of the study documentation the REC Manager will check and validate the submission.  The REC Manager will then issue a validation letter indicating the date and time of the Ethics Meeting and inviting the investigator to attend.  The dates and times of all ethics meetings can be found here:

http://www.hra.nhs.uk/resources/applying-to-recs/nhs-rec-where-to-book/

After the meeting the investigator will receive a letter within 10 working days stating the outcome which will be one of four possible decisions:

  • Final opinion – favourable or unfavourable
  • Provisional opinion – with request for further information, clarification or revision
  • No opinion – gone to referee for consultation before opinion given

The national ethics service allows 60 days from the submission of the application to final opinion. Clear guidance is given within the IRAS website for researchers who wish to make an amendment to their application after approval or add extra sites.