Research Ethics

Research Ethics

Research Ethics

Guidance on the Ethics of Research Conducted in UCC in Light of the Covid 19 Pandemic

All three UCC ethics sub-committees (AEC, CREC, SREC) are receiving and reviewing applications. Researchers must comply with all standard ethical and regulatory requirements, ensuring always, in line with basic ethical principles, that the benefits from the research outweigh any risks.  Ethics review is required for any project, which involves engagement with human subjects, either face- to- face or online.

This guidance relates only to additional requirements associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers are strongly advised not to conduct face- to- face research if possible and to use other modes of data collection, if appropriate, given the nature of the study.

Please see for more information.


In UCC, research ethics are the responsibility of the University Ethics Committee (UEC). The UEC is a committee of Academic Council and it reports annually both to Academic Council and to Governing Body.

The chair of UEC is Dr. Elizabeth Kiely of the School of Applied Social Studies.

UEC has the following key responsibilities

  • To develop policy and procedures governing ethics in research and research conduct

  • To make recommendations to Academic Council to ensure the effective operation of ethics governance structures at UCC

  • To establish and oversee ethics sub-committees

  • To co-ordinate training and raise awareness of ethics and good research conduct among staff and students.

Please note that UEC does NOT process individual research proposals for ethical approval. This responsibility currently falls to three Research Ethics Committees. The nature of the research proposal (whether focused on animal research, clinical research or social research) determines the appropriate Committee (see below).

Please click on the title for a full copy of the Introduction to Research Ethics at UCC. This provides an introduction to the ethics committees which operate in UCC and their reporting structure.  A guide is included to help identify the appropriate committee to which applications for ethical approval should be submitted (Page 19).

You can access the webpage for the UCC Code of Research Conduct V2.3 and guidelines at

Which ethics committee should you contact?

  • APPENDIX A of the UCC Code of Research Conduct V2.3 details the procedure for identifying the relevant ethics committee.
  • The NREC will focus on Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products CTIMP) (NREC-CT) and Clinical Investigations of Medical Devices (NREC-MD), with a view to a launch date of early May. It is anticipated that NREC-MD will take on the approval of device studies from May 3rd, and that NREC-CT would take the CTIMP studies  under their governance from January 2022.
  • Researchers are required to submit research proposals to the Committee most relevant to their research methodology.

For ethics support queries, please contact 

Research and Innovation

Taighde agus Nuálaíocht

Office of Vice President for Research & Innovation 4th Floor Block E, Food Science Building UCC