SOAS University of London

Research

Research Ethics at SOAS

SOAS expects its staff and student researchers to maintain the highest ethical standards, and to foster openness, honesty, tolerance, fairness and responsibility, in accordance with the core values in SOAS’s Vision and Strategy for the Centenary SOAS Vision and Strategy 2016-2020 (pdf; 2mb)  . This page provides information about the research ethics policies and procedures which translate SOAS’s ethical commitment into practice.

Research Ethics: Policy and Procedures

The  SOAS Research Ethics Policy (pdf; 336kb)   sets out the ethical principles which staff, students and other researchers are expected to follow when conducting research under the auspices of SOAS and defines the unacceptable behaviour which will be treated by the School as research misconduct.  The Research Ethics Policy has been approved by Research and Enterprise Committee.

Obtaining Ethical Approval

Ethical review is necessary to ensure that SOAS research projects will comply with the requirements of the School’s Research Ethics Policy. Ethical approval must be obtained before any research project commences.  The approval process covered by this procedure is mandatory for all research.

Research students can find further information on the Doctoral School webpage.

Research Ethics Panel

Certain areas of research invariably raise ethical issues that must be given the appropriate level of consideration and scrutiny.  Any research proposal that falls within  Annex A Table 1 (pdf; 103kb) of the Guidance will be referred on to the Research Ethics Panel (REP) for consideration and approval.

Minutes of SOAS's former Research Ethics Panel are available via the Committees page of the website. Responsibility for research ethics now rests with Research and Enterprise Committee.

Using Personal Data in Research: Code of Practice for SOAS Staff and Students

This Code of Practice provides guidance for staff and students on processing personal data as it relates to research, conforming to both ethical requirements as well the requirements set out in data protection legislation.  The Code of Practice also includes a model consent form in the appendices which can be used and adapted by researchers.

Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA)

The Research Office has prepared a guidance document: Research Data Protection Impact Assessment (pdf; 324kb)  and it forms part of the overall Research Ethics process.  It is formulated in line with SOAS’ corporate approach as set out in the Data Protection Impact Assessment Guide.

The impact assessment is to help with the identification and minimisation of data protection risks associated with a given project.  Whilst a DPIA is required for any activity which meets one of the screening criteria, some research projects may invariably be predicated on processing information that could be considered high risk.

Policy for the Investigation of Allegations of Research Misconduct

The  SOAS Policy: Investigating Allegations of Research Misconduct (pdf; 396kb)   has been adopted from the model Procedure for the Investigation of Misconduct in Research published by the UK Research Integrity Office.  It sets out how SOAS will undertake investigations that relate to allegations of research misconduct, as defined in the Research Ethics policy. 

All complaints relating to allegations of research misconduct must be submitted in writing and marked for the attention of the Schools' Registrar, Ms Paula Sanderson.

Statement on Research Integrity

The latest  Research Integrity Annual Statement (pdf; 133kb)   has been approved by the Board of Trustees.