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.’