Research Proposal for Ethical Approval Form

ESSENTIAL for all research-based assignments


(printed red version is for reference only, please complete electronically and print out to give to your tutor for signatures)

Student Name and Tutor

Location of research

Outline of proposed research project

Working title


Provide a brief rationale for your project – Who (authors/organisations argue this focus is important/needed and why.

What is the aim of your study?

What are your objectives?

What are your research questions?

Review of literature (1000 words)

What is the theoretical underpinnings of your focus?

You may write this section using subheadings –

Proposed Research Design –

Use subheadings –

Philosophy, – position your research /yourself as a researcher – eg. interpretive paradigm, feminist lens.

Methodology, – ethnography, grounded theory etc

Methods,- observation, interviews what kind? etc

Tools of analysis – semiotics, thematic analysis, coding etc

Context, – who where? (false names)


This section needs to be detailed and linked to qualitative authors. . What setting? Who are your participants? How many participants are you going to use?

What exactly are you going to do and what is your research design? What equipment are you going to use, what is the reliability and validity of your research protocol you are using.

This should be 4 – 5 paragraphs and link to your appendices if necessary.


– Statement of UOB/ISPAR ethics code- see Breo

Identification of potential risks to participants (Anonymity, Vulnerability Confidentiality, data protection, risk etc)

You must include all the potential risks to your participants. Think about your research design and the equipment you are using and what risks they carry. Think about the physical exertion you may be asking your participants to do. Is any of this potentially dangerous to the population you are looking at? Are they vulnerable? DATA protection issues.


Links to the ethics code for research – see lecture on this

Safety of participants



Withdrawal at any time

‘Do no harm’

Children –

Vulnerable participants

Data Protection – new guidelines – see breoo

Statement of how risks will be minimised /avoided (LINKED TO QUAL. AUTHORS)

You must include ways you will reduce the potential risks to your participants IN YOUR STUDY. You need to include a statement on how you will respect confidentiality, anonymity for example use false names and state they can withdraw at any part of the study. You need to state that you will provide both verbal and written consent of the participants after they have had clear, written instructions regarding the exact procedure they will need to take part in. Clear participant instructions – eg Participation Information Form MUST be completed by you and UOB ISPAR consent forms included as part of your ethical application.

How will the data be stored safely? DPI forms must be used and stored centrally by UOB.

The BERA/ESRC (delete as appropriate) guidelines have been consulted to inform ethical practice (

Ethical Research Issues Checklist (Below to be completed by student)

Has the research proposal identified any of the following research procedures? (Circle/Underline):

1. Gathering information about human beings (and organisations) through;

· Interviewing, Surveying, Questionnaires, Observation of human behaviour

· Taking human tissue/fluids

· Interfering in normal physiological and/or psychological processes

2. Using archived data in which individuals are identifiable

3. Researching into illegal activities

4. Research with children/vulnerable adults (I confirm that I have CRB clearance ()

If any of the above are circled/underlined, does the proposal satisfactorily identify the ways in which the following will be dealt with the following (tick boxes for “Yes”):

(Below to be completed by research supervisor)

· Voluntary participation without inducement;

· Procedures for providing participants with full awareness of the objectives of the research, the procedures to be followed, and the anticipated outcomes particularly in respect of publication of findings;

· Proposal has met the criteria for respect for confidentiality and publication contained in Research Ethics Committee policy

· Research proposal form completed appropriately

· Informed consent completed appropriately

Do the procedures identified in the proposal necessitate full formal risk assessment? YES/NO

Has the risk assessment been carried out? YES/NO/NONE REQUIRED

Does this assessment fall within university limits? YES/NO/NONE REQUIRED

For the above two questions you need to have read and acknowledged all the relevant risk assessments and read the relevant generic ethical documentation (found in the Laboratory Community on BREO)

(Below to be completed by student)

Approved by the organisation hosting the research:

The student has read and understood the guidelines provided by the Faculty of Education and Sport on ethical issues related to empirical research. They are aware of the need for anonymity for the children and organisation (school), confidentiality of data, and the need for a professional approach during the investigation to minimise any potential risk to participants. Their research proposal has been approved.




Research supervisor


Reviewer 1



Please include all these forms in your appendices:

Participant Information Sheet (filled in for this study)

Consent Form

All relevant risk assessments

Gatekeeper letter

Data Protection Forms

Timeline for the study

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