Social Research

‌Non-clinical research which involves human participants comes within the remit of the Social Research Ethics Committee (SREC). Ethical review by SREC is strongly recommended where the methodology is not clinical or therapeutic in nature and proposes to involve:

  • direct interaction with human participants for the purpose of data collection using research methods such as questionnaires, interviews, observations, focus groups etc
  • indirect observation with human participant for example using observation, web surveys etc
  • access to, or utilisation of, data concerning identifiable individuals.

Please Note: If a research protocol falls into both the jurisdictions of CREC and SREC, then the application will usually be referred to CREC. This is to safeguard the proportionality of clinical risk versus therapeutic benefit.


Please click the below link to watch a video of a Lunctime Talk and Presentation on the SREC Application process delivered by the Chair of SREC on 17 May 2017

It contains useful information on the application process along with some of the common errors that are found in SREC applications

Application Process

  1. To help you submit an application that is properly completed and ready to be logged for review, please read and follow the guidelines in our newly updated Guidance Document for SREC Applicants
  2. Please complete the application form (link below) and associated documents, and send as one pdf document by email (to:
  3. Please ensure that your application is signed by the applicant and, if under academic supervision, their supervisor. 
  4. Sample informed consent form templates are provided (links below), to assist applicants with formulating an informed consent form appropriate to the applicant's research project. 
  5. On receipt, properly completed applications will be forwarded to the committee for review and applicants will be forwarded a SREC Log number. Incomplete applications will be returned to applicants to be fully completed before they are logged and forwarded to reviewers.
  6. Please ensure that you give yourself a good lead time in applying for ethical approval. Once applications are logged for review applicants should expect to have feedback from SREC within 2 to 4 weeks with a decision within 6 to 10 weeks. 
  7. Please consider the University's policy on Research Conduct, see UCC Code of Research Conduct V2.3, when completing the application, particularly the section pertaining to data management (note: the University expects data to be securely held for a period of ten years after the completion of a research project).

SREC Application Form 2019

Guidance Document for SREC Applicants

Template Information Sheet & Consent Form - Experiment

Template Information Sheet & Consent Form - Focus Group

Template Information Sheet & Consent Form - Interview

Template Information Sheet & Consent Form - Survey

Guidance Document for Conducting Research on Online Platforms

Vulnerability Guidance Document


Please Note: SREC's remit pertains to the oversight of staff and post-graduate research. It does not accept undergraduate applications, unless in exceptional circumstances.  Undergraduate applications should be reviewed locally (by the relevant College / Department / School).  However SREC will consider undergraduate applications where there is a rationale, which precludes them from being reviewed locally.  

Research and Innovation

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