Educational Research Projects
Educational studies are those studies being undertaken primarily for the purpose of obtaining a qualification. Studies funded as part of wider grant funding where the main purpose is to undertake the specific research and the educational qualification is secondary do not come into this category.
In March 2020 the HRA paused student research approvals to create capacity for urgent COVID-19 research. From 1st September 2021 new eligibility criteria have been introduced by HRA that means some master's level students will be able to apply for ethics review and HRA approval. Standalone projects at undergraduate level the require ethics and/or HRA cannot take place. Master's projects may be able to procced depending on a number of criteria being met. Arrangements for doctoral research projects remain in place.
Please use the student research toolkit to determine whether your project is eligible for HRA review.
1. Sponsorship of Educational Projects
The HRA states: Universities and colleges are expected to accept the role of sponsor for all educational research conducted by their own students, unless the student is employed by a health or social care provider that prefers to do this. Sponsors of educational research should ensure that their supervisors can and do carry out the activities involved in fulfilling this role.
From 1 September 2021 a new student toolkit is avaiable on the HRa website to determine whether HRA will review standalone student projects. Review of student projects was paused early in the pandemic to allow resource to be diverted to covid research however new criteria now exoist to enable educational projects to proceed
York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust requires academic institutions to sponsor educational projects conducted by their staff.
2. Trust Staff Undertaking Educational Projects
Staff embarking on an educational project should seek advice from their academic institution about applying for Sponsorship and the necessary regulatory applications. Statistical and methodological advice should also be provided by the academic institution sponsoring the study.
However, it is also important to engage with the Trust at an early stage of the study design to ensure that there are no difficulties envisaged with delivering the study proposed.
For staff planning to undertake their project only at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust AND where NHS Research Ethics Committee approval is NOT required (this must be confirmed in writing by the sponsor) please contact the Research Adviser to discuss whether an application to HRA would be required.
All other education projects must proceed via the normal regulatory application process via IRAS submission to the REC and/or REC.
3. External Students Undertaking Educational Projects in the Trust
Staff not employed by the Trust are advised to contact the R&D Unit at an early stage and to engage with the departments involved in the proposed study. It is important to ensure that the clinical teams and directorate staff are aware of the study and supportive in advance of making the regulatory applications. Where the study will involve direct contact with patients or their data it is essential to identify a member of Trust staff who will be responsible for supervision of the student whilst they are working in the Trust.
External students must apply for the necessary access arrangements that will be required to work in the Trust. Refer to R&D/S20.