Research Ethics and Integrity

The university is committed to ensuring that the following research ethics objectives are achieved:

  • To ensure that any research activity undertaken by staff or students meets the highest standards and is compliant with the code of practice issued by the UKRIO and the UUK Concordat to support Research Integrity.
  • To ensure that risks relating to sensitive projects which may have a profound impact on the environment, communities or individuals are proportionately controlled without exposing individuals, or the environment, to unnecessary risk.
  • To ensure that projects involving animals, humans, human material or human data are only permitted when there is no alternative research technique and the expected benefits outweigh any possible adverse effects.
  • Coventry University requires all research to be submitted for ethical review and clearance as a matter of priority. All staff and students are required to obtain ethical approval before undertaking any research. Approval may also be required for other, non-research, activities involving human participants. Staff are responsible for following the internal process and supervisors of students are responsible for ensuring that their students do the same.

    The Group University Research Ethics Committee is responsible for ensuring that any research activity undertaken by staff or students meets the highest ethical standards and is in line with its policy on governance.

    These principles and standards apply to all research irrespective of whether it is unfunded, internally funded or externally funded through Research Councils, other public monies, or any other sources.

    Ethical approval is required before undertaking any:

    • Research, design studies, product development, artistic studies or experiments
    • Survey work, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups or case studies.

    The university may require ethical approval for:

    • Controversial or non-controversial literary or artistic works.
    • Paid or un-paid internal or external consultancy work.

    This is especially true if the activity requires or could involve:

    • Active or unintentional participation by human participants.
    • The use of tissue, cells, genetic material or body fluids from living or dead human participants (this is also covered under the Human Tissue Act 2007).
    • Actual or potential disclosure and storage of personal or confidential information (this is also covered by the Data Protection Act 2018).
    • An ethical, safety, moral or legal dilemma for the researcher and/or participants in allowing the activity to proceed.
  • Coventry University Group is committed to promoting research integrity in line with the UUK Concordat to Support Research Integrity (2019) and UKRIO code of practice. We are committed to:

    • Maintaining a research environment that develops good research practice and nurtures a culture of honesty in research;
    • Adhering to rigorous processes in planning, conducting, analysing and interpreting research and in disseminating research findings;
    • Complying with all legal and ethical requirements;
    • Promoting the open exchange of ideas, research methods, data and results, subject to any considerations of confidentiality;
    • Recognising that researchers are accountable to the public and should act accordingly;
    • Establishing procedures for declaring conflicts of interest, reporting of research methods, analysis and interpretation of data, in making research findings widely available;
    • Providing training and opportunities for development for researchers, including the necessary resources to enable researchers to conduct research to the required standards;
    • Ensuring the dignity, rights, safety and wellbeing of all involved in research and avoiding unreasonable risk or harm to research participants, researchers and others.

    Training and Development
    All research carried out on the Group’s behalf is expected to be carried out with rigour and integrity and to the highest standards of ethical practice, following excellent research practice and conduct. Training is available to all staff and students undertaking, and/or supervising, research activity on behalf of the Group, to enable them to conduct research to the required standards including research ethics and integrity, policies and procedures.

    The Group Research Ethics Committee have developed the CU Research Integrity and Ethics Training and Development Framework to enable researchers to develop the skills to conduct research to the required standards including research ethics and integrity.

    Research Integrity Reporting
    We produce annual Research Integrity report summarising actions and activities undertaken to support and strengthen research integrity in line with the Concordat commitment to strengthen research integrity. Included in the report is a summary for submissions for ethical approval and cases of misconduct. The statements can be found here.

    Research Integrity Misconduct
    Mechanisms are in place to investigate allegations of staff misconduct and poor integrity in research. Investigations are conducted in a fair and timely manner with serious cases of misconduct referred to the relevant regulatory or professional bodies. Appropriate steps are undertaken by the Group to restore the reputation of any researchers who are found not to have committed misconduct.

    Research Integrity Contact
    For further information, or queries, regarding research integrity at Coventry University, please contact Sophie Krumins, Research Ethics and Integrity Manager: ethics.uni@coventry.ac.uk.

    For concerns about research integrity at Coventry University Group, please contact Professor Nigel Berkeley, Research Ethics and Integrity Lead: nigel.berkeley@coventry.ac.uk.

  • The overarching responsibility of the University Group Research Ethics Committee (REC) is to promote a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice and support for the development of researchers in line with the University Research Conduct and Ethics Policy.

    The committee has the interlinked functions of:

    • Providing support and advice to researchers and others on matters relating to research integrity
    • Working in conjunction with faculties and research centres, ensuring that any ethics issues associated with research projects conducted by university staff or students of any level (and whether externally or internally funded) have been appropriately considered, addressed, and approved before the projects begin, and good ethical practice is employed as projects are delivered.

    The REC reports to University Research Committee:

    • Chair – Prof Nigel Berkeley, Institute Director and Academic Lead for Research Ethics and Integrity
    • Deputy Chair – Sally Puzey, Director of Research Services

Useful information

Academic Research Integrity Annual Statements:

Research Standards

Responsible Use of Indicators in Research Evaluation Standard

The University recognises the importance of using metrics responsibly. To this end, the Responsible Use of Indicators in Research Evaluation Standard sets out the University’s approach to the responsible use of metrics. Aligned with the 10 principles of the Leiden Manifesto, this standard aims to provide clarity for those involved in producing and understanding metrics, as well as enabling good practice across the group.

Publications and Open Access Standard

The University is committed to ensuring free access to all research outputs via its institutional repository, Pure, in order to maximise its usefulness to the wider research community and society in general. The Publications and Open Access Standard outlines the University’s approach, which aims to support researchers to meet funder and REF requirements, whilst also ensuring the long-term preservation and access to research outputs.

Research Data Management and Sharing Standard

Coventry University recognises that good research data management is fundamental to high quality research and academic integrity, and is committed to supporting our researchers in fulfilling the principles of good and effective research data management (RDM), in line with the UKRI Common Principles of data policy. The Research Data Management and Sharing Standard outlines the responsibilities for both the institution and the researcher regarding managing research data.

Contact us

For queries about the university's standards, please email oa.lib@coventry.ac.uk.

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021