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Ethical review is given with the aim of guiding research so that it can be conducted with the maximum benefit and the minimum risk of harm.

Any research involving human participants, their tissue and/or their data, must be referred to, and approved by, the relevant LSHTM Research Ethics Committee. This includes all research involving staff or students regardless of whether the Chief Investigator is based at the School or the research is being conducted away from our premises. The only exception are studies using data fully in the public domain. 

No study should commence until ethical approval has been notified in writing to the Investigator/student. The LSHTM Research Ethics Committees do not provide retrospective review. 

There are many benefits to obtaining ethical approval. These include:

  • The protection of participants through the process of independent review.
  • The protection of researchers, since by obtaining ethical approval you are demonstrating adherence to accepted ethical standards .
  • Ethical approval is generally a requirement of funding bodies before they will provide financial support for research.
  • Many publications/journals will not publish the results of research that has been conducted without ethical approval.
  • The School will not provide insurance for any research conducted without ethical approval. Therefore without ethical approval, should a claim be made, the individual researcher bears full responsibility for the claim. 

Research Ethics Committees

The School has three Research Ethics Committees who review and oversee the ethical aspects of research projects, in particular reviewing applications for new projects and amendments to existing studies. These are:

  • Observational Research Ethics Committee
  • Interventions Research Ethics Committee
  • MSc Research Ethics Committee

Information regarding the remit of each Committee, including the Terms of Reference and the current membership lists can be found on our Committees page.