Complete the following forms:
If relevant, complete:
Once completed, submit the SAFE, research protocol and all relevant documents to St George's Research Ethics Committee.
The Research Ethics and Integrity Officer will then review your documents and determine what level of review is required or issue an ethics decision letter. The standard response time is within five working days.
Following your initial submission of the SAFE, protocol and other documents you may be informed that a full ethics application is required for review at a SGREC review meeting (high risk studies).
The St George’s Research Ethics Committee will then review your application at a review meeting to which you will be invited and an ethics decision letter will be issued. The standard response time is within five working days of the meeting. Please note that there is one SGREC Review Meeting each month. For meeting dates and submission deadlines please see our webpage About the St George’s Research Ethics Committee.
If ethics favourable opinion and governance approval is issued, you will be required to submit an annual progress report form (Word) every year the study runs and an end of study notification form (Word) when the study is finished.
Following approval, if you wish to make changes to your study, including (but not limited to) a change to the research team, study dates, participant documents or study design, you will need to submit an amendment application form (Word) for approval.
For the annual progress report, end of study notification and amendment application forms, please see below the section of Running and amending your project.
Please note that we will publish a summary of your research (taken from your application) in our annual report and in other reports that summarise the work of the St George’s Research Ethics Committee and will be publicly available.
For further help completing or submitting these documents please email the Research Ethics and Integrity Officer.
Some SGREC studies, such as studies where NHS staff are the participants, may require Health Research Authority (HRA) governance approval. To determine whether HRA review is required, please use the decision tools available on the HRA website.
Please consider completing the HRA bite-size eLearning module which explains what HRA and Health and Care Research Wales (HCRW) approval are, what types of research they apply to and what exemptions there are. It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.
If you can apply for SGREC ethics review you don`t need NHS REC as well. Please ensure that this is indicated on the IRAS form. (IRAS Q46 Does your study require REC Review? - You should reply NO)
Example for Organisation Information Document Non-Commercial
Example for IRAS schedule of events
Name: Georgia Bullock
Telephone number: +442087255013
Email Address: email@example.com
Job title: Research Development and Governance Manager
Organisation Name: Joint Research and Enterprise Services, St George’s University of London and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Student projects also require electronic sign-off by the student’s supervisor.
Please send the PDF form of the IRAS application and the documents to the Research Ethics and Integrity Officer for checking before the submission to the HRA.
If you have any questions, please email the Research Ethics and Integrity Officer.
Read our frequently asked questions for further help and guidance with your application.
Must the SAFE be signed off my supervisor?
Yes, this is to ensure that your supervisor has oversight of your study and approves of your research proposal.
Supervisor sign-off is part of the SAFE approval process. You must submit your SAFE, protocol and all other relevant documents to the Research Ethics and Integrity Officer.
My research is being conducted on animals. Do I still need to gain favourable opinion from the SGREC?
No, SGREC does not consider animal-related research projects.
You should contact Rob Bond in the Biological Research Facility in the first instance, as your project will need to be reviewed by St George's Animal Welfare Ethics Review Body (AWERB).
My project involves research overseas, do I need SGREC favourable ethics opinion and SGUL governance approval?
If you are a University employee and you will be the Principal Investigator or the University will be the Sponsor of the project, you need to submit the application to SGREC. The Ethics Committee will consider the general ethical aspect of your project and it will review your safety, the insurance cover and reputational risk to the University.
Research projects must comply with the UK’s legal requirements and the University`s ethical requirements, as well as the laws and regulations of the country where the study is taking place or where the data will be collected. You must seek local ethics favourable opinion and sponsor governance approval from the organisation(s) where the research is taking place and any other local/national approvals required by that organisation and country. Evidence of these approvals must be provided to the SGREC.
If you are travelling abroad you should ensure travel insurance is in place.
If your research involves human tissue from overseas, you need to follow the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) regulation of the import/export of human tissue for research purposes. Even for countries that do not regulate human tissue research, as a minimum you will be expected to seek assurances from the host institute that the material is ethically sourced and check the consent if you will use identifiable samples.
If my research involves the use of ionising radiation can I apply for SGREC?
No. For UK studies which involve ionising radiation will need to go via the IRAS process. For more information about ethics review for ionising radiation
If my research involves the recruitment of participants who lack capacity can I apply for SGREC?
No. For UK studies which involve the recruitment of participants who lack capacity you will need to go via the IRAS process. For more information about ethics review for participants who lack capacity
My project will involve taking human tissue samples. What approvals do I require?
Please see the Human Tissue Act guidance and SGUL guidance for information. You require favourable ethics opinion from an NHS REC (e. g. if you are removing samples from patients).
I would like to conduct online surveys or questionnaires as part of my study. Which online tool should I use?
You can access Microsoft Forms via the SGUL O365 Portal by going to and clicking on the Forms icon.
Help and tips on how to create a survey using Microsoft Forms. For further help please email.
Please make sure you refer to any other relevant guidance before setting up your survey, for example in terms of either data protection or research ethics requirements. Please use the Data protection and managment guidance.
Survey Monkey is a very popular online tool but we do not recommend its use due to data protection concerns. For staff with a subscription to Survey Monkey it can be used during the academic year 2020/1 as we transition to Jisc Online Surveys as the preferred tool for 2021/2.
Where Microsoft Forms does not provide the necessary functionality for your needs, it may be possible to use JISC Online Surveys instead. For further information and to request access to Online Surveys please email the Learning & Development Manager
How often are the SGREC meetings? When I should submit my application?
The Committee has scheduled meetings almost every month but will only meet if there are applications to review that month. All deadlines are at 4pm, and are usually a minimum of 2 weeks before the committee meeting date.
The dates below only apply to applications that require full committee review but we advise you submit all applications for ethical review well in advance of these deadlines. This will make sure your application can be reviewed in time to be included in the papers for the next meeting.
Do I need HRA approval if I want to recruit participants working for the NHS?
If you will recruit participants (working for the NHS) through advertising on a professional organisation website you do not need HRA approval.
If you will recruit via their NHS working team e.g. a hospital ward then you do need to go through the HRA.
When will I need gatekeeper approval?
If you are conducting research outside the University it is good practice to obtain the written consent of any organisation that agrees to host your study. You need to submit an email or letter from the person who has research authority at the organisation. For NHS research you will need approval from the R&D Office of the NHS Trust involved.
When do I need to complete the notice of amendment form?
If you wish to amend your study after approval, you will need to submit an amendment form along with any updated/amended documents. Some examples of when you will need to submit an amendment are:
- a change to the study population
- a change to the research team
- a change to the recruitment strategy
- a change to the research methods / study design
- any changes to the study outcomes
- a change to any participant documents or the protocol
- a change to the end date of the study.
Please see the Running and Amending Your Project section for more information and contact the Research Ethics and Integrity Officer if you need advice on amending your study
Who can I contact if I have a query regarding the application form?
Please contact the Research Ethics and Integrity Officer to discuss any queries you have. Please consider the Drop-in sessions in the Library.
If you would like to ask a question that is not addressed on this page, please contact the Research Ethics and Integrity Officer.