Statutes and Ordinances of the University of Cambridge
p. 672

The provisions contained in this Chapter are Regulations of the General Board

In this section


University Research Ethics Committee

1. The General Board has agreed to establish a University Research Ethics Committee which shall consist of:

  1. (a)the Chair of the Human Biology Research Ethics Committee;1
  2. (b)the Chair of the Psychology Research Ethics Committee;
  3. (c)a member of the Cambridge Local Research Ethics Committee;1
  4. (d)one person appointed by the General Board who shall be Chair, provided that the General Board shall have power to appoint as Chair a person who is already a member of the Committee in one of classes (a), (b), (e) or (f);
  5. (e)two persons appointed by the General Board who shall not be resident members of the University;
  6. (f)six persons appointed by the General Board, one each on the nomination of the Councils of the Schools to ensure appropriate representation of areas of research involving human participants or personal data and a breadth of expertise in research integrity matters;
  7. (g)one member of the University, in statu pupillari, appointed on the nomination of the Graduate Union;
  8. (h)not more than two persons co-opted by the Committee, provided that it shall not be obligatory for the Committee to co-opt any person or persons.

2. The appointment of members in classes (d)–(f) shall be made in the Michaelmas Term for periods of four years from the following 1 January. Members shall be eligible for reappointment. Co-opted members shall serve until 31 December of the year in which they are co-opted or of the following year, as the Committee shall determine at the time of their co-optation. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), the Academic Secretary, the Director of the Research Services Division, and the Director of Human Resources shall have the right to attend meetings of the Committee. The Secretary of the Committee shall be the Academic Secretary or a duly appointed deputy.

3. Six members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum. The Committee shall:

  1. (i)devise a University policy for approval by the General Board for the consideration and approval of research projects involving human participants or personal data, including the establishment of specialist sub-committees, where appropriate, to cover specific areas;
  2. (ii)monitor the implementation of this policy, establish associated procedures, and recommend to the Board any changes that are considered necessary in the light of experience;
  3. (iii)consider and decide on any application for approval of research involving human participation or personal data which is referred to the Committee by one of its sub-committees or by any other relevant body;
  4. (iv)establish, implement, and keep under review a procedure for considering appeals against decisions made by sub-committees to withhold, suspend or withdraw approval of a research project which it considers to contravene University policies or procedures on research involving human participants or personal data;
  5. (v)consider and advise on training provision for those involved in considering applications for research projects involving human participants or personal data and for those undertaking such research;
  6. (vi)receive and consider annual reports from the ethics subject sub-committees;
  7. (vii)report annually to the General Board on (i)–(v) above;
  8. (viii)advise the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) on the development and implementation of policy and procedures related to research integrity.


  1. 1. The Human Biology Research Ethics Committee falls within the School of the Biological Sciences and considers applications from staff and students of the University for ethical approval of research programmes in fields within its scope involving human participants, except in the field of human psychology where applications are considered by the Psychology Research Ethics Committee. The Cambridge Local Research Ethics Committee normally considers applications from all departments within the Clinical School. It is an advisory committee to the Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority and is independent of the NHS Trusts and the University.a b