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College of Natural Sciences Health and Safety Services

Research Ethics

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The key points for staff and students to be aware of are as follows:

 Click here for a summary of the ethical review procedures in CNS

Working with Animals

The legislation concerning experimentation on animals is quite complex. All living veterbrates and cephalopods except man are protected under the Animals(Scientific Procedures) Act (ASPA).Under ASPA authorisation from the Home Office is required for all procedures that are carried out on protected animals for a scientific purpose.A procedure is defined as anything with the potential to cause pain, suffering or lasting harm equivalent or greater than the insertion of a hypodermic needle by a competent person. It is quite easy to unwittingly commit an offence under ASPA. For example, many people might consider dipping the beak of a plaster cast model of a predatory bird such as a heron into an aquarium tank containing sticklebacks as unlikely to cause pain suffering or lasting harm if care is taken not to touch the fish with the model of the bird. However, this does have the potential to cause lasting harm since the animals may be subject to stress when they see the model bird and the physiological impacts of stress have been shown to have detrimental effects on the immune system so that there is the potential for the animal to suffer lasting harm. It is possible to design the experiments in such a way to reduce the stress to a level where there is no potential for lasting harm but this requires considerable experitise and consultation with the Home Office.

A detailed explanantion of how the University controls work involving protected aniamls to ensure compliance with the letter and spirit of the legislation can be found here EthicalReviewProcess

It is important to note that whilst ASPA is only law where UK juristriction applies, the University applies equally strict rules where work with protected animals takes place abroad. These rules can ve found here Regulations for animal work abroad new v3 1108

All persons intending to work with any animal afforded protection under ASPA (all vertebrates and cephalopods) must gain prior ethical approval in writing prior to any work commencing. Failure to do so could result in individual or institutional prosecution if the work breaches ASPA. No results obtained from working on protected animals prior to gaining ethical approval may be included in any work submitted to the University in fulfillment for any degree.

You can make an application for ethical approval by completing and submitting the appropriate form below:

Undergraduate, Mdegree and taught MSc Students .

Staff and PhD students

You should allow 4 weeks for your application to be processed. If the work requires the granting of a Home Office licence then you should allow at least 4 months.

Work involving human participants

Where scientific studies involve human participants the University seeks to protect both the investigator and the volunteer and ensure that any relevant legislation such as the Human Tissue Act (HTA) and Data Protection Act are complied with.Whenever human participants are used in scientific studies it is imperative that informed consent is obtained.This means that volunteers are given sufficient information about the risks to themselves of taking part in any study and how any samples or information that they provide will be used so that they can make an informed choice as to whether to take part. Researchers must also be very careful to ensure that they do not place pressure on potential participants to take part in any study. If studies involve the collection of human tissue (defined in the relevant legislation as essentially anything containing human cells so saliva, blood, urine and fecal samples are included) then the HTA may apply and guidance should be sought from John Latchford (j.latchford@bangor.ac.uk)

Data containing personal details is subject to the requirements of the Data Protection Act.

A key part of any work involving human participants is the ethical review process. All work involving human particpants must recieve prior approval in writing.

No results obtained from human particpants prior to gaining ethical approval may be included in any work submitted to the University in fulfillment for any degree.

You can make an application for ethical approval by completing and submitting the appropriate form below:

Undergraduate, MDegree and taught MSc Students

Staff and PhD students

You should allow 4 weeks for your application to be processed

RESOURCES

Please click here for examples of cconsent forms and completed ethics forms

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