skip to content

Local Research Ethics committee

All medical research in the UK is regulated via the National Health Service, and ethics applications are reviewed by a Local Research Ethics Committee of the National Research Ethics Service. The National Research Ethics Service is currently a core function of the NHS Health Research Authority.

NHS National Research Ethics Service review is required for most research involving NHS patients, staff or facilities, as well as certain other forms of clinical and social science research.

Detailed guidance can be obtained from the Clinical School’s website or from the Clinical School Research Governance Team via

Further guidance can be found via the NRES applications process and the NRES website 

Is your project defined as research?

Some evaluations of technology usage, even if carried out in a clinical environment, may be considered by the NHS to be 'audit and service evaluation' rather than research. In that case, no NHS research ethics approval will be required.

To help you decide whether your project requires NRES approval the Health Research Authority have created two decision trees that will guide you as to:

  1. Whether your study classifies as research
  2. If so, whether you need NHS REC approval