The University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) Terms of Reference include approval of proposals for research which comes under the Terms of Reference to follow. UREC have delegated the review of such proposals to Faculty Research Ethics Committees (FRECs), such as the Research Ethics Committee for the Faculties of Business, Environment and Social Sciences (AREA FREC), to consider approval for proposals that include research with significant ethical dimensions, in particular research involving human participants or their data, or significant negative environmental impact.
AREA is a cross-faculty ethics committee reviewing applications from the Faculties of Business, Environment and Social Sciences. A number of faculty representatives sit on the committee as well as a lay member.
Michael Walker, lay member
Vacancies for lay members
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 AREA 17-167). 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.