Imperial College Research Ethics Committee (ICREC) is the College Ethics Committee which reviews health related research involving human participants and /or their data that is undertaken by College staff or students.
Science, Engineering and Technology Research Ethics Committee (SETREC) is the College Ethics Committee which reviews non-health related research involving human participants and /or their data that is undertaken by College staff or students or research that has current or future potential for environmental impact.
Most of the projects the Research Ethics Committees review will involve the College only or may be taking place entirely overseas. The Principal Investigator must always be employed by Imperial College London. Low level projects without high risks can be reviewed by the HoD and JRCO, any high risk projects must be reviewed by full Committee these include but are not limited to:
- Research which involves vulnerable groups; children or adults who are unable to consent, the mentally ill and individuals with learning difficulties
- Prisoners and young offenders
- Research which is invasive
- Research which takes place overseas and requires local ethical approval (local approval is necessary but not sufficient on its own)
- Research where the subject matter is sensitive
- Research which involves individuals in an overtly dependent situation (people in care)
The Research ethics risk checklist will help determine whether your study is considered low risk (eligible for fast track approval) or high risk (for full committee review).
Committee does not review the following:
- Research which involves animals, should be reviewed by AWERB (Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body)
- Projects which involve the NHS (NHS patients, premises, staff or data) should be considered by the HRA Research Ethics Committees.
- Education studies in which Imperial College undergraduate medical students are recruited should be reviewed by (MEEC) Medical Education Ethics Committee.
- If a study is not research i.e. it is an evaluation or audit then (EERP) Education Ethics Review Process may be able to review the application.
ICREC and SETREC do not deal with research in which a College researcher is a Co-Investigator, unless procedures such as those above will be taking place at Imperial. However, the Co-Investigator must ensure that the Principal Investigator gains ethical approval from his/her own institution before the research begins.
Please see the flow chart of Routes to ethics review