Research Integrity, Governance and Ethics

In this section you can read Conservatoires UK statement on Research Integrity and Governance and find out how to apply to the Conservatoires UK Research Ethics Committee.
Northern School of Contemporary Dance – Photo by David Lindsay

All those engaged with research have a duty to consider how the work they undertake, host or support impacts on society and on the wider research community (Universities UK, p. 9).

As research organisations, the institutions comprising Conservatoires UK support the principles set out in Universities UK’s Concordat to Support Research Integrity (2012), which are summarised in the form of the following commitments:

  • maintaining the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of research
  • ensuring that research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards
  • supporting a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice and support for the development of researchers
  • using transparent, robust and fair processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct should they arise
  • working together to strengthen the integrity of research and to review progress regularly and openly

Similarly, the institutions comprising Conservatoires UK must adhere to the principles and guidance set out in the UK Research Integrity Office’s Code of Practice for Research and Misconduct Investigation Procedure.

All the institutions comprising Conservatoires UK have their own policies on the good conduct of research and procedures for investigating misconduct, based on the RCUK Policy and Guidelines on the Governance of Good Research Conduct. All researchers, whether directly or indirectly funded by one or more of the UK Research Councils, are bound by this policy.

According to the second commitment of the Concordat to Support Research Integrity, all research involving human participation must be subject to ethical review and approval.

Some Conservatoire UK institutions have internal research ethics committees and procedures to be followed by all those undertaking research at their own institutions, regardless of whether the research has received ethical approval from another source.

Other Conservatoire UK institutions have internal research ethics committees and procedures to be followed by student and staff researchers at their own institution and are prepared to fast-track or approve applications from external researchers whose research already has ethical approval.

Researchers who are not affiliated to an institution, affiliated to an institution without an internal research ethics committee and/or who wish to undertake research at one or more participating Conservatoires UK institutions can apply for ethical approval from the Conservatoires UK Research Ethics Committee. Please scroll down for guidelines and application forms.

Ethical approval to undertake research involving human participation does not imply permission. Permission to undertake research at a specific institution must be obtained from that institution before the research is carried out.

 

Access to sensitive or extremism-related research material

In accordance with the ‘Prevent’ responsibilities of higher education bodies, intended to ‘prevent’ radicalisation/extremism, research students and staff will need to seek approval within their own institution to gain access to electronic or other material related to subjects concerning radicalisation and extremism. Such access will not be withheld where the student or member of staff has good academic reasons to access such material, in accordance with academic freedom principles.

Where access is provided, the conservatoire will give attention to ensuring that such material is securely stored, whether in secure physical or electronic storage, and will be disposed of securely when no longer needed.

The institutional contact for requests to access such material will be the most senior member of staff in the conservatoire with responsibility for research and this will normally be a member of the senior management of the institution.

Conservatoires will be guided by the Universities UK guidance in this area, currently available here. As this guidance says: ‘Universities play a vital role in carrying out research on issues where security-sensitive material is relevant. This guidance document concerns the storage and circulation of security-sensitive research material. If circulated carelessly, such material is sometimes open to misinterpretation by the authorities, and can put authors in danger of arrest and prosecution under, for example, counter-terrorism legislation. Certain procedures for independently registering and storing this material – through research ethics processes – are recommended in this guidance.’

Please click here to read the Conservatoires UK statement on Research Integrity and Governance. Please ensure that you are also familiar with the principles and guidance set out in the UK Research Integrity Office’s Code of Practice for Research and Misconduct Investigation Procedure, and the RCUK Policy and Guidelines on the Governance of Good Research Conduct . All researchers, whether funded directly or indirectly by one or more of the UK Research Councils, are bound by this policy.

According to the second commitment of the Concordat to Support Research Integrity, all research involving human participation must be subject to ethical review and approval.

Some Conservatoire UK institutions have internal research ethics committees and procedures to be followed by all those undertaking research at their own institutions, regardless of whether the research has received ethical approval from another source.

Other Conservatoire UK institutions have internal research ethics committees and procedures to be followed by student and staff researchers at their own institution and are prepared to fast-track or approve applications from external researchers whose research already has ethical approval.

Researchers who are not affiliated to an institution, affiliated to an institution without an internal research ethics committee and/or who wish to undertake research at one or more participating Conservatoires UK institutions can apply for ethical approval from the Conservatoires UK Research Ethics Committee (CUK REC). Please scroll down for guidelines and application forms.

Ethical approval to undertake research involving human participation does not imply permission. Permission to undertake research at a specific institution must be obtained from that institution before the research is carried out.

How to apply for ethical approval

Please read the relevant guidelines before you complete your application. You are encouraged to check your application against the appropriate checklist before you obtain the signature of your Conservatoires UK Research Ethics Committee (CUK REC) representative (see below) or, if you are an external researcher, the CUK REC representative at the institution where you have permission to undertake your research.

Guidelines

Application forms

Checklists

It is the CUK REC representative’s responsibility to ensure that:

  • the appropriate form has been completed in full
  • with all necessary attachments (e.g. participant information sheets, consent forms, sample questionnaires)
  • the forms have been signed (electronically) by the appropriate signatories

The form should not be submitted to the Chair of the CUK REC for distribution to and consideration by the Committee until the CUK REC representative is satisfied that all ethical considerations have been addressed. These include issues such as:

  • the value of the research (it is unethical to waste potential participants’ time and energy on investigations that have already been done, unless there is a specific purpose for replicating existing research, or that address trivial questions)
  • the proposed methodology and
  • any materials to be used in the research (e.g. interview schedule, questionnaires, description of special equipment)

In short, there should be no reason for the application to be returned by the Chair to the CUK REC representative for revision before it can be distributed to the Committee for consideration.

If you have any queries that cannot be answered by your CUK REC representative, please contact the Chair, Stephen Farrier (Stephen.Farrier@cssd.ac.uk).

Please make your submission to the CUK REC as follows:

Send an electronic copy of the submission, formatted into one file, to Joseph Parslow (ethics@cssd.ac.uk) with ‘Application to CUK REC’ in the subject line.

The CUK REC consists of one or more CUK REC representatives at each CUK institution, typically the Head or Deputy Head of Research and one other representative with appropriate qualifications (e.g. Head of Quality Assurance or a member of staff with responsibility for data protection).

The Committee thus has 16 members, of whom those who have not been involved in the submission of an application will be eligible to comment on it. Committee members in 2020-2021 are:

  • Stephen Farrier (Chair, CSSD)
  • Jane Ginsborg (Deputy Chair, RNCM)
  • Dr John Habron (Deputy Chair, RNCM)
  • Garth Bardsley (RNCM)
  • Dr Keith Phillips (RNCM)
  • Stephen Broad (RCS)
  • Joshua Dickson (RCS)
  • Alistair MacDonald (RCS)
  • Carrie Churnside (RBC)
  • Christopher Dingle (RBC)
  • Pamela Lidiard (GSMD)
  • Ann Sloboda (GSMD)
  • Dr Maia Mackney (GSMD)
  • Terry Clark (RCM)
  • Rosie Perkins (RCM)
  • Neta Spiro (RCM)
  • Emma Redding (Trinity Laban)
  • James Lea (RWCMD)

Applications should be submitted by the deadline of 5pm on the following Thursdays:

Term 1: 21st October 2021, 2nd December 2021

Term 2: 3rd February 2022, 10th March 2022

Term 3: 12th May 2022, 30th June 2022

Summer: 25th July 2022

The rationale for the timing of these deadlines is that they are (roughly) equally-spaced throughout the year, with a slightly longer gap between deadlines over the summer. There should be no need for “extraordinary” applications to be made at other times, but while the deadlines will be specified on the application forms it will also been made clear that such applications will be considered exceptionally with good reason.

Applications will be considered by all members of the Committee except the CUK REC representative who has signed the application and any co-investigators who are also members of the Committee. Researchers’ names and the details of projects will be treated as confidential within the Committee.

Applications made or signed by the Chair will be administered by the Deputy Chair.

Applications are stored centrally by the Chair and distributed to the committee members by email.

Outcomes will be as follows:

  • Approval (which must be unanimous)
  • Revise, according to comments made on checklists
  • Reject with no possibility of revision

The Chair will facilitate discussion by e-mail of applications for which approval is withheld by one or more members of the Committee.

Outcomes will be communicated and Certificates of Approval, where granted, will be issued on behalf of the Chair to the CUK REC representative, whose responsibility it is to convey them to applicants at their home institution.

Revisions, if necessary, must be checked by the CUK REC representative and signed off again before the application is resubmitted to the CUK REC.