Research Ethics


Plymouth Marjon University is an inclusive community that values sound learning, new discovery and the pursuit of wisdom for the good of all. In doing so it seeks to apply the highest ethical standards at all levels of decision making, especially taking into account how these decisions might affect others and the natural world. As such, we uphold academic freedom and high ethical, scientific and professional standards. The Ethical Review Process is a cornerstone of such decision-making and praxis in the research context.

Research is a step into the unknown. As a result, seeking unrevealed understanding often presents a range of risks. Some are trivial. Others profound.

The Ethical Review Process is designed to facilitate excellence in the pursuit of knowledge by helping researchers to identify such risks as well as ethical issues in the design, conduct and oversight of research. This enables researchers to develop reasoned and ethically defensible responses to these issues so that they may conduct their research while protecting themselves, their participants, colleagues, environment, and the University.


 The University Research Ethics Panel is currently made up of:

Read the Research Ethics Panel Terms of Reference

Student Ethics Applications

Our Student Ethics Standard Operating Procedure describes the procedures for undergraduate and taught postgraduate research projects. These procedures take effect from academic year 2018-19 onwards.

All undergraduate and postgraduate taught student applications should be submitted to their supervisors in the first instance, not the University Ethics Panel.


Researchers are advised to submit an ethics application well in advance of their anticipated start date.

The following deadlines and response timelines relate to staff and PGR students only.

Applicant Type Applicant Deadline Applicant Decision
Light Touch & Full Review  Mon 02 Sep 2019 Light Touch - Tue 01 Oct 2019, Full Review - Wed 09 Oct 2019
Light Touch  Mon 07 Oct 2019 Light Touch - Tue 05 Nov 2019
Light Touch & Full Review  Mon 04 Nov 2019 Light Touch - Tue 03 Dec 2019, Full Review - Wed 11 Dec 2019 
Light Touch Mon 02 Dec 2019 Light Touch - Tue 07 Jan 2020
Light Touch & Full Review Mon 06 Jan 2020 Light Touch - Tue 04 Feb 2020, Full Review - Wed 05 Feb 2020
Light Touch Mon 03 Feb 2020 Light Touch - Tue 03 Mar 2020
Light Touch & Full Review Mon 02 Mar 2020 Light Touch - Tue 31 Mar 2020, Full Review - Wed 08 Apr 2020
Light Touch Mon 06 Apr 2020 Light Touch - Wed 06 May 2020
Light Touch & Full Review Mon 04 May 2020 Light Touch - Wed 03 Jun 2020, Full Review - Wed 10 Jun 2020
Light Touch Mon 08 Jun 2020 Light Touch - Tue 30 Jun 2020
Light Touch & Full Review Mon 06 Jul 2020 Light Touch - Tue 04 Aug 2020, Full Review - Wed 05 Aug 2020

Please note the caveat attached to our light touch ethics review: light touch applications are assigned as such based on the answers and justification provided within the Research Ethics Application. However, the light touch review panel reserves the right to escalate an application to the next full panel review if a light touch is deemed inappropriate.

Useful Information

Refer to the following links and guidance: 

Service evaluation, audit and research: what is the difference?