Business, Environment and Social Sciences (AREA) Research Ethics Committee

NB: From 04/07/2022 all new ethics submissions and amendment submissions to the AREA FREC should be submitted through the Electronic Ethics Review Management System (Infonetica).

Applicant Infonetica Guidance

Bookable Help Sessions: There will be bookable help sessions with the Secretariat’s Research Ethics & Governance Team on 14 July 12-2 pm and 21 July 12-2 pm held via Teams. This is an opportunity for hands-on help using the new application system. Please email ( if you would like to book a slot. Further sessions will be organised later in the summer.

For queries regarding new submissions please contact

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.


Chair: Dr Judith Hanks, School of Education, FSS
Deputy Chair: Prof Paul Glover, School of Earth & Environment, ENV

Faculty representatives:

School Ethics Leads for Social Sciences

tbc., School of Education
Dr Jose Miola, School of Law
Dr Christine Harlen, School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)
Dr Miro Griffiths, School of Sociology and Social Policy

School Ethics Leads for Environment

Dr Mark Hopkins, School of Food Science & Nutrition (FSN)
Andy Turner, School of Geography
Dr Caroline Mullen, Institute of Transport Studies
tbc., School of Earth and Environment

School Ethics Leads for Leeds University Business School (LUBS)

Dr Andrew Mearman, Economics Division
Dr Desmond Leach, Management Division
Dr Shankha Basu, Marketing Division
Dr Sundeep Alulakh, Work and Employment Relations Division

Additional members

Dr Michael (Mick) Walker, lay member

Student representatives

Lilith Brouwers, WERD, LUBS
Karen Hardcastle-Rad, Sociology and Social Policy, FSS
Jillian Schacher, SEE, Environment

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 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.

10 top tips for reviewing ethics applications