Research Ethics and Integrity at the School of Engineering

The School of Engineering, as part of the University of Edinburgh, undertakes a wide range of research and consultancy work. At one end this covers research with human subjects (surveys, questionnaires, laboratory experiments), through clinically-related research on humans or human-derived tissue, and animals, to fundamental research in the fields of evolution, mathematics, informatics, chemistry, physics, astronomy and engineering.

School Requirement

The School requires that all research carried out by its members is of the highest scientific and ethical standards, and follows the University's guidelines:

Heads of Research Institutes have authority, delegated by Head of School, to approve research grant and contract proposals and are responsible for checking that relevant ethical issues are properly considered. Heads of Research Institutes are also responsible for ensuring that research projects are executed within ethical guidelines.

The Principal Investigator (PI) of the research application must ensure that the proposed research (along with the research carried out by any collaborators) complies with the Research Ethics and Integrity policies set out by the University and funders.

In line with the Research ethics framework the School of Engineering attaches great importance to addressing the ethical implications of all research activities carried out by its members, be they undergraduates, postgraduates or academic members of staff. Attention to the ethical and legal implications of research for researchers, research subjects, sponsors and collaborators is an intrinsic part of good research practice.

School Proceedure

The Director of Research acts as the Research Ethics and Integrity Officer for the School of Engineering with support from the Research Administrator.  Any Ethical issues will be reviewed and approved by the Director of Research and any issues relating to Research Integrity will be initially reported to the Director of Research, who may then request further information or delegate the issue to the appropriate 3rd party to manage.

Ethical Concerns

  • Does your research include human or animal subjects?
  • Does your research have an effect on the environment?
  • Will you be working with collaborative partners (such as military, arms or fossil fuels)?
  • Have you made appropriate arrangements for Data Protection?
  • Does your research concern groups which may be construed as terrorist or extremist?

If you have answered yes to any of the above, you will be required to complete a Research Ethics and Integrity form. Please email finance-research@see.ed.ac.uk.

Further Information

Further information can be found on the EI (Edinburgh Innovations), College of Science and Engineering, University of Edinburgh websites: