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Research

This webpage, gives information for undergraduate students (UG), postgraduate taught students (PGT), postgraduate research students (PGR) and staff who wish to conduct research type activities involving in-person interactions (e.g. for a dissertation, major project, audit/evaluation, research study).

General guidance on Research Ethics and Governance, continues to be housed on the RIS webpages.

Guidance

Studies in the UK must comply with government guidance and local restrictions/guidance and should only be conducted in-person if it is safe to do so.

Investigators should follow the guidance and requirements on the LJMU Moving Forward Together webpages.

Using university spaces

Where University space is required, undertaking the study must be consistent with the current status for on-site working, including that the building is open and approval for the use of the space is obtained. This information can be obtained from the School Office.

In-person interactions

Studies involving in-person interaction must address the risks to health, welfare and safety of participants, investigators and other people involved in the study by completing a Covid-19 Task Risk Assessment Form for In-person Research Activities.

Investigators should consult the LJMU Guidance on Coronavirus (Covid-19) Practices related to Research Activities (below). Any risk assessment will need to specify how risks related to COVID-19 will be managed. A risk assessment will also be needed if local investigators are going to conduct research on behalf of LJMU investigators. It is important to consider these risks in terms of the following:

  • type of participant (for example child, adult, those considered vulnerable to COVID-19, elderly)
  • location of research (for example country, University-owned space, schools, public spaces)
  • type of contact required with participants (for example whether social distancing is possible, if close contact is required, or being in a confined space with inadequate ventilation)

The Covid-19-related risk assessment must be authorised by the School Director or nominated other, revised, re-authorised and reissued when required. Investigators should continually review and update their risk assessments so they are in line with government and University guidance. All risk assessments should be retained by the investigator and displayed wherever the research activity takes place.

The extent of any in-person contact and the measures taken by the research team to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 must be explained to participants in advance in order to inform decisions about participating.

Using remote research methods

Studies that have received a favourable ethics opinion can be amended to utilise remote research methods (e.g. online questionnaires, telephone interviews etc.). If the amendments follow the standard ethical protocol for the use of remote research methods further ethical approval will not be required. To make study amendments that do not conform to the standard ethical protocol, investigators should submit request for study amendments in the usual way.

Travel

Compliance with LJMU’s travel guidance and all fieldwork must follow UK Government travel advice and any national or regional guidance at your destination. This includes different rules operating in the four nations of the UK.

Remaining compliant

Once the study has received a favourable ethical opinion, Investigators need to be aware that UK and overseas rules and guidance will be subject to change. Studies involving in-person interaction may need to be amended or paused to comply with amended guidance. Investigators should continually review and update their ethics applications so they are in line with government and University guidance:

  • UG & PGT students - for further information discuss with your supervisors, module/programme leaders, school/faculty Research Ethics Committee
  • PGR & staff - further information, please visit Research Ethics & Governance