How to apply for ethical approval

Please consider the applications forms below and complete the form which best represents your research. 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.

Please make your submission to the CUK REC as follows:

Send an electronic copy of the submission, formatted into one file, to the CUK REC Administrator Dr Joe Parslow ( with ‘Application to CUK REC’ in the subject line.

Application forms



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

Term 1: 19th October 2023, 30th November 2023

Term 2: 1st February 2024, 8th March 2024

Term 3: 10th May 2024, 28th June 2024

Summer: 24th August 2024

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 applications outside this schedule will be considered exceptionally with good reason.

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 Sheet (PIS), 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.

Please note, the CUK REC will not consider retrospective applications for ethical approval (i.e. research which has already been undertaken but did not receive ethical approval prior to its commencement).  

Members of the CUK REC are happy to receive informal enquiries about their areas of expertise related research ethics and integrity and can be contacted via the Administrator (Dr Joe Parslow) on Areas of specialism include (but aren’t limited to): Research involving the participation of human participants; Qualitative Research; Quantitative Research; Action Research; Mixed-method Research; Autoethnography, and Self-study; ethics as process; Practice-based research and Practice Research; Performance Science; Arts and health; Gender, Sexuality and Performance Research. 

If you have any queries that cannot be answered by your CUK REC representative, please contact the Chair, Dr Karen Wise (

See here for more information on how your application is reviewed and about the membership of the CUK REC