Research Governance and Culture
Research governance covers university policy, standards, procedures and guidance implemented to ensure high quality research is carried out alongside our Research Conduct and Ethics principles –
- Rigour and Integrity – Research is carried out with rigour and integrity and to the highest standards of ethical practice. Researchers must comply with all legal and ethical requirements relevant to their fields of study.
- Risk Management – Research is carried out ethically with intent to maximise benefit and minimise harm. Researchers will avoid unreasonable risk to all involved in a research project.
- Environment and Culture – The Group will maintain a research environment that develops good research practice and nurtures a culture of research integrity.
- Robust Data Management – Researchers will do their utmost to ensure the accuracy of data and results, acknowledge the contribution of others and neither engage in or support misconduct.
- Openness and Honesty – The Group will promote the open exchange of ideas, research methods, data and results and their discussion, scrutiny and debate, subject to any considerations of confidentiality. Reporting of research methods and findings should be transparent.
- Accountability – Researchers are accountable for their actions and decisions and therefore must act accordingly. The Group will ensure that any research undertaken complies with terms and conditions relating to the project and allows for proper governance and transparency.
- Professional standards – Researchers who are members of a regulated profession must follow the requirements and guidance of the body regulating their profession in addition to the Group’s requirements.
The links on this page outline the University’s Research Governance Standards in further detail.
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.
Research Ethics Statement
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.
Research Ethics Process and System
The ethics review and approval process is undertaken by staff and students via Coventry University Ethics Online, a bespoke ethics application and authorisation online system, which can only be accessed with a university account. The system and local ethics processes is monitored by the Research Ethics and Integrity team.
University Group Research Ethics Committee
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.
For further information or queries regarding research ethics at Coventry University, please contact Sophie Krumins, Research Ethics and Integrity Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org or Professor Nigel Berkeley, REC Chair: email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
For further information, or queries, regarding research integrity at Coventry University, please contact Sophie Krumins, Research Ethics and Integrity Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For concerns about research integrity at Coventry University Group, please contact Professor Nigel Berkeley, Research Ethics and Integrity Lead: email@example.com.
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 University Group Research Ethics Committee have developed the Coventry University 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 Data Management
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.
For queries about the university's Research Data Management, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
For queries about the university's standards, please email email@example.com.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in Research
Coventry University’s vision is to embed a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) within the fabric of our organisation, with the commitment to EDI we make as a Group embedded in our 2030 strategy. Coventry University meets its commitments to gender equality and the requirements of Horizon Europe’s Gender Equality Plan, see our Gender Equality Plan.
Trusted Research aims to:
- safeguard international research collaborations and is particularly relevant to researchers in STEM, dual-use technologies, emerging technologies and commercially sensitive research areas (CPNI);
- manage potential risks to research and enable researchers and institutions make informed decisions around potential risks;
- provide guidance on how to protect research.
Research Services at Coventry University provide guidance and support for researchers on Trusted Research.