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How do I make an ethics application? 

1. You are a studying on a psychology programme:

  • Use the online application process through Solent Online Learning as specified by your course tutors
  • If you have a question about the process you can contact the Chair of the Psychology Ethics Standing Panel, Dr Rhodri Davies,, RM132

2. You are studying on a health, exercise or sport science programme:

  • Use the online application process through Solent Online Learning as specified by your course tutors 
  • If you have a question about the process you can contact the Chair of the HESS Ethics Standing Panel, Scott Burnet,, RM213

3. You are studying on a programme which is neither of the above:

 Ethics Form Creator 

When should I apply?

  • If your project brief specifies you make an application as part of your assessment.
  • If your tutor / course team / supervisor advise it
  • See also the criteria outlined in the ethics release checklist and the University Ethics Policy

University Ethics Policy 

How long does it take to get ethical approval?

You should always discuss your proposed project with your course team before you make an application.

  • Your supervisor will normally respond to your ethics application within five working days
  • If your application requires review by an ethics standing panel, this will normally take another ten working days after your supervisor has reviewed it.

The following may lead to delays in processing applications:

  • An incomplete application.
  • An application for a project which has not been first discussed with the named supervisor.
  • An application which is declined by the supervisor or review panel. (You may be asked to resubmit with additional information).
  • An application where the wrong supervisor has been named.

Always check with your course team which member of staff you should name as your supervisor on your ethics application.

How will I find out if my ethics application has been processed?

You will receive emails to your Southampton Solent University email account whenever your application has been reviewed by your supervisor or by the ethics standing panel.


Can I start my project before I get confirmation of ethical approval for it?

No. If you start any part of your project which is subject to ethical review before receiving approval you would be in breach of the ethical approval process and could face disciplinary actions under the Student Academic Misconduct policy (Student Academic Misconduct Policy, p.2L.3 (11x), or the Postgraduate Research Student Academic Misconduct Procedure p.4L.1 (4iv)).

Student Academic Misconduct

Postgraduate Research Misconduct Policy

What should I do if I realise I’ve made a mistake on my form after I submit it?

  1. Inform your supervisor by email, copying in saying you are withdrawing that application.
  2. Submit a new application.

Can I submit supporting documents with my application?

You can submit sample consent forms, draft participant information sheets, or other supporting documents. Documents should be forwarded as email attachments to with a request to have them added to your application.

What is the difference between ethics release through self-certification and ethics release through full ethical review?

  • When you fill in the application form you will be asked to respond to a checklist of questions.
  • If your response to all the questions is ‘no’, or if you respond ‘yes’ to question one, but ‘No’ to all the related sub-questions, your application is eligible for self-certification.
  •  Self-certification means – once your supervisor has approved your checklist, you may begin your project. Self-certification is not complete until your supervisor has reviewed the checklist and you have received their response.
  • If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions on the checklist, or ‘yes’ to question one and ‘yes’ to at least of the related sub-questions, this will automatically convert your application to a request for full ethical review from an ethics standing panel.
  • To complete a request for full ethical approval you must fill in any additional sections on the form with all relevant detail.
  • If you are not sure what to include in the application, you should consult your supervisor / course tutor.
  • When the application has been approved by both your supervisor and the ethics standing panel you may begin your project.


What happens if my supervisor or the review panel decline my application?

You may be given the opportunity to resubmit your application, responding to any comments made by your supervisor or the deputy chair of the panel.

If you have any questions about how to respond to any comments, you should consult your supervisor before reapplying.  

What does it mean if the panel ‘approve with comments’?

Your approval may come with comments or conditions.

  • A ‘comment’ is something the panel want you to consider when undertaking your project, but you can start your project.
  • A ‘condition’ is something you must do. You must demonstrate to your supervisor how you will meet any ‘condition(s)’ set by the panel before you start your project.

Will I be able to print the approval of my ethics application?

Yes. You can download the approved application as a PDF for printing.


To view PDF files you need to have Adobe Reader™ installed.
Adobe Reader™ is available free from the Adobe website.

Page last updated on Thursday 12 April 2018 at 2.56pm.


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