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The Geography (Exeter) Ethics Committee

The Geography Ethics Committee maintains procedures for the consideration of ethical issues arising from teaching, research and other activities in the Geography Department at Exeter. The Geography (Exeter) Ethics Committee sits within the University of Exeter’s Research Ethics and Governance procedures and helps ensure activities in the department are carried out in accordance with the University’s codes and policies for ethical good practice. Researchers in Geography at Penryn should contact their local CLES Ethics Committee.

The University of Exeter Research Ethics Framework recognises and requires research to accord with the commonly accepted ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, confidentiality and integrity, other than in exceptional circumstances requiring prior approval from the relevant Research Ethics Committee. Researchers are also expected to consider the environmental, political, social, religious, cultural and legal implications of their work.

Research Ethics Applications (Exeter)

The same ethics application process is used for all MRes and PhD projects, and for postdoctoral and staff research in both human and physical Geography. Ethics processes for research undertaken as part of taught undergraduate and master’s courses are normally organised by the module convenor and you should consult your module handbook for further information. In each case, it is the responsibility of the person carrying out the research to ensure that the appropriate processes for ethical approval are completed before starting any empirical data collection.

Ethical approval cannot be given once a study has started. Please note that failure to complete the required ethical approvals in advance of research is considered research misconduct and may incur significant penalties from university exam boards, from research funders, and in some cases may raise legal issues for researchers. The penalties for students are detailed in individual course handbooks.

Undergraduate, Master and PhD students should consult their research advisor for advice on ethical approval processes. Members of staff are encouraged to discuss ethics approval processes with their research group lead or members of the Geography Ethics Committee. 

Please consult the information on the Geography Research Ethics (Exeter) ELE pages before starting a new e-Ethics application. This will direct you to the right online system for you to start and submit your ethics application.

The Geography Ethics Committee is unable to approve research involving NHS patients, staff, data or facilities; UK Social Care organisations or service users; adults without the capacity to consent; work with the prison service, offenders or those on probation; participants who are members of the Armed Forces; research with a clinical trials design; and research involving harms to animals. These require external review by nationally recognised and independent research ethics committees. If your proposed research involves these groups, please consult the chair of the Geography Ethics Committee, or contact the University Research Ethics and Governance team for further advice.