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Business and Law Procedures

Worktribe Ethics Application System Live on 30 March 2021

From Tuesday 30 March 2021 all research ethics applications will need to be submitted using the new Worktribe Ethics system. You will be able to access the system through the new website and will be asked for your DMU single sign-on details.

The new system asks a more comprehensive set of questions on your ethics application, while still being user-friendly. 

Training on using the new system, in the form of videos and user guides, will be available under the help menu on Worktribe and also shortly in the Digital Skills area of Blackboard. We will also be running faculty drop-in sessions where you can ask questions and see a demo of the system. 

Initially the system will only be used for staff and PGR applications. Undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate taught (PGT) applications will move on to the new system in a phased manner later in the year, and information on this will be provided in due course.

Please note that all applications submitted up to and including Monday 29 March will be managed as they are currently. All new application submissions made from Tuesday 30 March will be made through the new system.

Further details, including training resources for using the new system will be made available soon.  

In the meantime, if you have any questions please contact the team via email:

Guidance on face-to-face research

As COVID restrictions have been lifted in the UK, we are providing further guidance on face-to-face research.

Any face-to-face research will require research ethics approval. We will continue to consider applications for research involving face-to-face interactions for the purpose of the study, where it is clear that they are safe and necessary. Ethics approval is subject to researchers adhering to all UK government and other relevant governments, if the research is to be carried out in another country) and university guidelines (e.g. continued wearing of face masks in enclosed spaces etc.).

An application to conduct face-to-face research must be supported by:

  • Plans to either suspend or amend the research should UK/other relevant government guidelines change (which could happen with ‘no’ notice);
  • A completed COVID research risk assessment (and available on Worktribe in the Help Menu>Document Repository).

Following ethics approval, where relevant, a health and safety risk assessment must be completed. It should cover the proposed activities, risk to researchers and participants.

New applications for ethics approval that entail face-to-face research should continue to be submitted through Worktribe. The mitigations for face to face, as detailed above, must be made clear in the application form and the necessary evidence and documentation uploaded.

Where international travel is required to support delivery on contracted research, this will be possible, but only to countries outside the government’s red list. Please check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website and seek advice from our insurers prior to finalising any travel arrangements. Please also bear in mind that pandemic levels and restrictions can change quite quickly.

Where relevant, a health and safety risk assessment must be completed. It should cover the proposed activities, risk to researchers and participants. We encourage staff who have not yet been vaccinated to refer to DMU’s ‘Be safe, get the COVID vaccine’ campaign.

For further support, please contact your Faculty Research and Innovation Offices (RIOs): Business and Law (BAL) –

For further support and advice on completing this form and a risk assessment please contact

Jump to:

  1. Forms - undergraduate/postgraduate taught, postgraduate researchers (PhD /MPhil students) and staff
  2. Model statements for Researchers working off campus overseas or in the UK
  3. Amendments
  4. Sample Data Collection Templates
  5. Codes of Research Ethics
  6. Submission Guidance
  7. Block Application form (staff only)
  8. Being compliant with the Data Protection regulations when undertaking research

All students and staff who wish to undertake research activities will need to apply for ethical approval before commencing their research. The appropriate ethical approval form must be used.

Full guidelines are included in the faculty ethics guidelines below.

Please ensure procedures are followed or applications may be rejected. Please allow a minimum of 25 working days for staff and PGR applications to be processed.

What reviewers (should) look for when examining ethics applications - and what you (as applicants) then need to consider when completing your ethics application.

1. Forms - undergraduate/postgraduate taught, postgraduate researchers (PhD /MPhil students) and staff

Please ensure you read (and follow) submission guidance in section 5 before you submit your application.

Undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate taught (PGT) students

Stage 1:

All UG and PGT students must first complete a Preliminary Ethics (Triage) application form. This form will assess whether the applicant will need to go on to complete a full BAL ethics application form. The supervisor/module leader will authorise the form. Completed forms will need to be submitted to the relevant repository for the module on Blackboard.

Stage 2:

You only need to complete a full application if advised to do so.

Please see the guide below for help when completing UG and PGT Ethics form.

Guide to completing the UG and PGT Ethics Application Form

Presentation for UG and PGT students

Specimens of narratives for Section 2 of the application form (Aug 2019)

Podcast for UG and PGT students:


Postgraduate research students (PGRs) (PhD/MPhil) and staff applications


Stage 1:

From 30th March 2021 all applications made by either PGRs or staff must be made online via the Worktribe system.

(For PGRs this application must go through your 1st Supervisor who will submit this application to the Research Office on your behalf). 

Training and guidance materials are on Blackboard under Digital Skills Training

2. Model statements for Researchers working off campus overseas or in the UK

Please see below for a model statement on how to increase researcher safety when working off campus either overseas or in the UK.
This is a model statement that can be inserted into the ethics application and what plans you should have in place in such circumstances.

3. Amendments

If you have completed a full ethics application and received ethical approval but now wish to amend your study, this will need approval. Please return to your authorised form on the Worktribe system and make amendments to it and submit for further authorisation.

4. Sample Data Collection Templates

5. Codes of Research Ethics

List of online ethical resources for BAL researchers 

6. Submission Guidance

For Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught students, please see your module handbook for submission guidance on Blackboard.  Submission guidance for Postgraduate Researchers and Staff can be found on Blackboard under Digital Skills Training.

For staff and Post Graduate Research Students (PGRs). Please allow a minimum of 25 working days for staff and PGR applications to be processed on Worktribe. The application should be accompanied by the relevant documentation that will allow the Reviewer(s) to understand the nature of the project and the possible ethical issues. Please ensure copies of the research questions, consent form and participant information sheet and risk assessment (where appropriate) are included. Please also submit a research proposal to give an overview of your study.

7. Module-level block approval

All research involving human participants, or their data, requires ethics review. Whilst normally this review is done on a project‐by‐project basis, it is recognised that for UG/PGT level there are occasions where students may complete very similar or identical projects that are very low risk. In such cases it may be proportionate to approve research at a programme or module level, rather than individually for each student.

This applies to where basic research is undertaken by students as part of a taught module on a routine basis or as part of a programme of work that is extremely low risk. Such cases will be typified by, for the most part, a consistency in practice and approach in terms of the research process, and where the research is assessed to be low risk. This will include projects where pedagogic research might be involved, and where students are engaged as co‐producers of knowledge through the undertaking of research in their capacity as consultants.

See guidance on the process and forms for applications here.

8. Being compliant with the Data Protection regulations when undertaking research

In addition to keeping data securely at all times, DMU policy is that if you are if you are electronically recording interviews (but not manually) including any online interviews (for example, by MS teams) that you should have a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) approved beforehand. Please see the Recording Policy. In regard to ethics authorisation, the Ethics Committee only need to know that you are committing to undertake to follow Data Protection policies but the Ethics Committee do not need to await that DPIA before considering and authorising ethics. Any questions relating to Data protection should be taken up with the Data Protection Team.  

Read the DPIA template and guidance.

Read DMU's policies and external requirements.


For PGR students (as links to the SharePoint site above may not be accessible)  

Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA)

The GDPR introduces a new obligation to undertake a DPIA before carrying out types of processing likely to result in a high risk to an individuals' interests. This is a key element of the new focus on accountability and data protection by design.

In all research ethics applications, you should first undertake a screening checklist

The completion of the screening checklist will determine whether you then need to go on to complete a DPIA.

An effective DPIA will help you to identify and fix problems at an early stage, demonstrate compliance with our data protection obligations, meet individuals' expectations of privacy and help avoid reputational damage which might otherwise occur. A DPIA can also reduce the ongoing costs of a project by minimising the amount of information you collect where possible, and devising more straightforward processes for staff.

You should not view a DPIA as a one-off exercise to file away. A DPIA is a 'living' process to help you manage and review the risks of the processing and the measures you've put in place on an ongoing basis. You need to keep it under review and reassess if anything changes.

Faculty Head of Research Ethics 

Dr Jonathan Rose
Associate Professor
T: +44 (0)116 257 7772