Research Governance Committee

Research Governance Committee

Institutional responsibility for Research Ethics and Governance

The University Research Ethics and Governance Sub-Committee has the overarching institutional responsibility for research integrity.  The committee provides policy direction to ensure that appropriate structures, groups, and processes are in place in Colleges for conducting ethical reviews of research. The committee receives referrals from, and resolves issues of research integrity from College Ethics & Governance committees and other internal ethical approval bodies/groups.

The Committee reports to the Committee for Research & Innovation Strategy (CRIS) and Senate

University Research Ethics & Governance Sub Committee

Terms of Reference

  1. Own and implement the Policy Framework on ‘Research Integrity: Ethics & Governance’;
  2. Oversee the work of University committees with particular responsibility of research governance matters, including College Research Ethics & Governance Committees, Research Misconduct Screening & Investigation Panels, Sponsorship Review and Approval Committee, Joint Scientific Review Committee, Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Board, and any Subject or Area specific Oversight Groups.
  3. Monitor compliance with internal ethical policies/procedures and external regulations/legislation relating to research ethics and governance;
  4. Monitor, review, and where necessary update policies and procedures relating to research integrity: ethics & governance;
  5. Maintain oversight of research misconduct cases, including providing guidance to institutional screening and investigation panels.
  6. Provide assistance and guidance to Colleges to ensure that appropriate mechanisms and structures are developed at Colleges for the management of research ethics and governance.
  7. Ensure that research ethics and governance is a standing agenda item for the College Research Committees;
  8. Ensure that research risk is managed appropriately and risks are mitigated for business continuity and emergency planning.
  9. Promote best practice and encourage consistency in matters of research integrity: ethics and governance across the University through training and raising awareness;
  10. Ensure oversight and compliance of sponsorship requirements, audits and inspections by external bodies (e.g. MHRA, HTA, RCUK, IAU)
  11. Update and disseminate all institutional research-governance related documentation with a view to raising stakeholders awareness of the processes relating to research governance and ethical approval; and
  12. Approve and review periodically subject-specific research ethics and governance frameworks produced by the College Research Ethics & Governance Committees.


  • Academic Lead - Research and Integrity (Chair)
  • Deputy Academic Lead – Research Integrity (Deputy Chair)
  • Chairs of College Research Ethics & Governance Committees
  • Dean of Postgraduate Research
  • Director of Swansea Trials Unit
  • Director of the Institute of Research Ethics & Law

In Attendance:

  • Professional Staff representatives from Research, Engagement & Innovation Services (REIS)
  • Professional staff representative from Development &Training Services (APECS).
  • Professional Staff representative from postgraduate research office
  • University Risk Administrator
  • Representative from Procurement & Finance
  • Representative from ISS
  • Research Integrity Compliance Officer (Secretary to the Committee)
  • HTA representatives
  • RGF Officer

Frequency of meetings

Once a term with the option of special meetings when required.

Dates of meetings 2017-18: 

Wednesday 4th Oct 2017
2:00 – 4:30pm
Council Chamber, Singleton Abbey.
Wednesday 7th Feb 2018
2:00 – 4:30pm
Committee Room 2, Singleton Abbey.
Wednesday 2nd May 2018
2:00 – 4:30pm
Council Chamber, Singleton Abbey.
Minutes of University Research Ethics & Governance sub committee available on request. Please email


College Research Ethics & Governance Committees

Each College normally has a single College Research Ethics & Governance Committee reporting to the College Research Committee. If a single Research Ethics & Governance Committee is insufficient for the needs of the College’s research community, then additional sub-committees or oversight groups of the College Research Ethics & Governance Committee are set up. All sub committees or oversight groups report to the College Research Ethics & Governance committee. 

Chairs of College Research Ethics & Governance committees and any sub-committees/oversight groups are expected to be competent in the ethical review of research. It is recommended that College committees involve a lay member to ensure independence of judgement and to help avoid conflicts of interest. College Research Ethics & Governance committees and any sub-committees/oversight group should foster a culture in which research integrity, ethics, and governance are recognised as integral to research excellence. Any work with patients should be referred for NHS research ethics approval. Cases of suspected research misconduct should not be dealt by College Research Ethics & Governance committees and must be referred to the Registrar and Chief operating officer or to the Research Integrity Compliance Officer of the University (

To ensure that all research undertaken by staff and students at Swansea University embodies high standards of research ethics and governance, each College is expected to produce a research ethics and governance framework for its subject area(s) and community of researchers. These frameworks should accord with appropriate disciplinary, professional, regulatory, and legislative requirements, and be aligned to the University Framework on research integrity. The College framework should provide guidance to staff and students on research integrity within the College, including the requirements for undertaking ethical review and securing ethical approval. The guidelines should, where appropriate, be differentiated according to the particular needs of the College with discipline specific, light touch, expedited and full ethical reveiw processes and protocols. College frameworks should be reviewed annually, and any amendments reported to the University Research Ethics & Governance sub-committee. 

Reporting structure:

The College Research Ethics & Governance Committee (and any of its Sub-Committees/oversight groups) should meet regularly to undertake ethical reviews, and report to the College Research Committee and College Management Boards as appropriate.

The College Research Ethics & Governance Committee should report to the University Research Ethics and Governance Sub-Committee once a term, identifying any difficulties encountered in the process of ethical review within that period and highlighting any cases of alleged research misconduct that were referred to the Registrar or Research Integrity Compliance Officer.

The University Research Ethics and Governance Sub-Committee will seek to resolve any problems that cannot be dealt with at College level and provide advice to Chairs of College Research Ethics Committees, where appropriate.

For information on making an application for ethical review see the relevant links below.