Research Ethics Structure in Scotland
Research Ethics Service Annual Reports for Scotland are available to download here:
The Research Ethics Service in Scotland is a part of the UK-wide national service aimed at facilitating research, whilst simultaneously protecting the rights, safety, dignity and well-being of people participating in research in the NHS. The service is supported by the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office (CSO) and the Health Research Authority (HRA) to:
- Provide robust and responsive ethical review of research by RECs
- Provide ethical guidance and management support to RECs
- Deliver a quality assurance (QA) Framework for the research ethics service
- Deliver training and support for researchers and REC members
- Work with colleagues in the wider regulatory environment to streamline the processes for approving research
- Promote and support transparency in research.
Structure of Research Ethics in Scotland
There are currently 11 Research Ethics Committees (RECs) in Scotland, hosted in the four Nodal Regions:
- North – Aberdeen
- South East – Edinburgh
- East – Dundee
- West – Glasgow.
RECs operate independent of researchers, sponsors and funders and each REC consists of up to 18 volunteer Lay and Expert members. This ensures they are able to put participants at the heart of their review.
In addition to research studies requiring full ethical review by an NHS REC, each Nodal REC centre also provides advice on projects which could be deemed as clinical audit, service development/evaluation, surveillance and usual practice (Public Health). Governance of the RECs is provided by the NHS Health Board, the CSO, the Health Research Authority (HRA) and the United Kingdom Ethics Committee Authority (UKECA). Nodes also support full ethical review committees and sub-committees for each of the RECs which cover all other committee work including proportionate review; responses to Provisional Opinion; substantial amendments; and assessment of breaches and serious adverse events. Each Nodal centre supports research ethics committees and provides advice and training for researchers.
Each Nodal centre can provide advice to researchers and sponsors in line with HRA guidance. For example:
- Whether your project may be considered research, audit or service evaluation, in conjunction with Sponsor and others, as appropriate
- Whether the study requires NHS ethical review
- What type of ethical review is required
- What other approvals may be required
- Current guidance on ethical issues, for example, recruitment and consent.
Training for Researchers
How to Apply for Approvals and Further Guidance
Full review applications need to be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the meeting. Applications suitable for proportionate review will be allocated to the next available meeting in any UK REC. Attendance at a full REC meeting is expected, therefore you should choose a REC that you can make yourself available for.
NB: It is possible to teleconference into some committees. Please check the contact list below and give your preference when the nodal ethics office staff contact you about the time and venue for the meeting.
NB: Only one REC in Scotland can consider applications under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. This is Scotland A REC, which is hosted within South East Scotland by NHS Lothian.
Ethics - Contacts
Advice on current applications, including queries on individual studies, should be directed to the relevant REC Manager.
All other queries should be directed to the relevant Scientific Officer.
|Based in||Committee||REC Manager||Contact Number||Email queries to||Teleconference availability|
|NHS Grampian, Aberdeen||NoSRES1||Carol Irvine||01224 firstname.lastname@example.org||All full meetings|
|NHS Grampian, Aberdeen||NoSRES2||Carol Irvine||01224 email@example.com||All full meetings|
|NHS Lothian, Edinburgh||SESRES1||Sandra Wyllie||0131 465 5473||Sandra.Wyllie@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk||All full meetings|
|NHS Lothian, Edinburgh||SESRES2||Joyce Clearie||0131 465 5674||Joyce.Clearie@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk||All full meetings|
|NHS Lothian, Edinburgh||Scotland A||Manx Neill||0131 465 5680||Manx.Neill@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk||All full meetings|
|NHS Lothian, Edinburgh||Scotland B||Manx Neil||0131 465 5680||Manx.Neill@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk||All full meetings|
|NHS Tayside, Dundee||EoSRES1||Lorraine Reilly||01382 383878||Eosres.firstname.lastname@example.org||All full meetings|
|NHS Tayside, Dundee||EoSRES2||Lorraine Reilly||01382 383878||Eosres.email@example.com||All full meetings|
|NHS GGC, Glasgow||WoSRES1||Kirsty Burt||0141 314 0212||WoSREC1@ggc.scot.nhs.uk||All full meetings|
|NHS GGC, Glasgow||WoSRES3||Abibat Adewumi-ogunjobi||0141 314 0211||WoSREC3@ggc.scot.nhs.uk||All full meetings|
|NHS GGC, Glasgow||WoSRES4||Rozanne Suarez||0141 314 0214||WoSREC4@ggc.scot.nhs.uk||All full meetings|
|NHS GGC, Glasgow||WoSRES5||Sharon MacGregor||0141 314 0213||WoSREC5@ggc.scot.nhs.uk||All full meetings|
|Nodal website||No. of RECs||Scientific Officer||Email enquiries to|
|North||2||Dr Rachel Hardiefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|South East||4||Dr Helen Newberyemail@example.com|
|East||2||Dr Bannin De Witt Jansenfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|West||4||Dr Judith Goddenemail@example.com|