Arts, Humanities and Cultures FREC

Terms of reference

  1. To consider applications for ethical review from University staff and students which include research with significant ethical dimensions, in particular those involving human subjects; data pertaining to human subjects; and research with the potential for an adverse impact upon the physical environment. UREC has delegated the review of such proposals to the Faculty Research Ethics Committees (FRECs).
  2. To work with applicants to ensure that research is conducted ethically.
  3. To promote awareness and understanding of ethical issues in research throughout the Faculties covered by the FREC.
  4. To provide advice on any ethical matters relating to research that are referred to it from within the Faculties covered by the FREC.
  5. To audit completed research which received ethical approval to ensure compliance with ethical practices. 
  6. To monitor the ethics review arrangements in place within Schools and Institutes within the Faculties covered by the FREC.
  7. Where necessary, to withdraw or suspend approval of a research project due to serious concerns regarding its ethical aspects.
  8. To refer matters of complexity or sensitivity to the UREC for advice or assessment.
  9. To report to UREC on an annual basis.
  10. Where the Committee is responsible for more than one Faculty, the Chair and Deputy Chair will usually be based in different Faculties.
  11. The FREC will meet four times a year and on an ad hoc basis as necessary.
  12. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt such additional members as are necessary for the conduct of its business. 
  13. Applications which come within the remit of the Health Research Authority Research Ethics Committees, or Home Office regulated research are not within the remit of this Committee. 


Membership should be multidisciplinary and include representatives of all the Schools within the Faculty, as well as at least one appropriately trained external member with no affiliation to the University of Leeds, and be constituted so that conflicts of interest are avoided.

AHC FREC School Representative - role description

Chair: Prof Robert Jones, School of English 
Deputy Chair: Dr Alinka Greasley, School of Music

School ethics leaders:

School of Design: Dr Giuseppe Tronci (from March 2018) 
School of English: Dr Richard Salmon (from August 2018)
School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies: Dr Helen Graham
School of History: Prof Regina Lee Blaszczyk (from March 2018) 
School of Languages, Cultures and Societies: Dr Mustapha Sheikh (from March 2018) 
School of Media and Communication: Dr David Lee
School of Music: Dr Alinka Greasley
School of Performance and Cultural Industries: Dr Aylwyn Walsh
School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science: Dr Jasjit Singh

Ex officio members:

The Senior Research Ethics Administrator: Jennifer Blaikie, the Secretariat 
The Research Ethics Senior Training & Development Officer: Dr Alice Temple, OD&PL/ IDEA CETL 
A representative of the Faculty Graduate School: Dr Mic Spencer
A representative of the Faculty Taught Student Education Committee: Dr Mel Prideaux
A representative of the Leeds Humanities Research Institute: Prof Sita Popat

Additional members:

Two lay members: Martin Hamilton, vacancy
A representative of the postgraduate student body: Kelli Zezulka (from January 2018)

In attendance:

Erin Pickles, Administrative Support Officer, LHRI

The Committee shall also have the power to co-opt such additional members as are necessary for the conduct of its business. 

Review process

Most applications are reviewed by email by at least two members of the FREC. Once your complete application is received you'll receive an email from the administrator confirming receipt and giving you an ethics reference number (eg PVAR 14-567). You should allow six weeks for the review to take place. The initial review usually takes place within 2-3 weeks, and once this has happened you'll receive a letter from the administrator detailing the outcome of the review. You may be asked to clarify certain aspects of your application or to make some changes (this is called a Provisional Opinion) or your application may be approved without you having to make any changes (a Favourable Opinion). In very rare cases an application may be given an Unfavourable Opinion, if this happens the FREC will explain in the letter why that decision was made and they will offer to discuss options for changing your research project with you.

Faculty-specific guidance.  

Research Councils