Research ethics

Information about the requirements on research ethics can be found in your Research Ethics milestone in eProg.

Research ethics approval process

Before beginning an ethics application, PGRs should ensure that they complete the Ethics Decision Tool using the link below. The tool will advise whether or not ethical clearance is needed for the project. PGRs should discuss the outcome of the decision with their supervisor before beginning an application in the Ethical Review Manager (ERM) if required. If the Ethics Decision Tool indicates that an ethical review is not required, please take a screenshot of the outcome to upload to your eProg milestone.

If the Ethics Decision Tool indicate that your research requires a formal approval, please refer to the University website on how you can make an application which may be via the University Ethical Review Manager (ERM) system or Universtiy Research Ethics Committee (UREC).

No research or data collection should be carried out until ethical clearance has been sought and confirmed in writing - this applies to both staff and students. All breaches of ethics are reported and attended to by the Research Governance, Ethics and Integrity Office.

Further information

If you have any queries or require any further information about ethics, please contact Doctoral Academy team at

Our values

Our standards enshrine the following values:

  • Respect for human dignity
  • Ensuring integrity and quality
  • Respect for free and informed consent
  • Respect for vulnerable persons
  • Respect for privacy and confidentiality
  • Voluntary participation
  • Use of procedures that avoid harm

We ensure that appropriate and timely education, training and advice is available to all students and staff.

We expect that supervision teams and programme teams will ensure that research integrity is on the agenda at meetings and is integral to decision-making.

We aim to provide clarity regarding the allocation of responsibilities and lines of accountability, and endeavour to make our decision making processes transparent. Our processes will be monitored and reviewed regularly according to best practice.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

I already have a DBS certificate from The University of Manchester

If you have previously had a DBS check completed by The University of Manchester then you can upload this certificate when completing your online ethical application.

I already have a DBS certificate but it is NOT from The University of Manchester

Did you sign up for the update service at the time your certificate was produced?:

  • YES - Please note that you can contact your programme administrator who will check the update service to verify that there have been no changes since your check was completed. You can upload a copy of the certificate when completing your online ethical application.
  • NO – You may require a new check to be completed by The University of Manchester, please read the information below

Do I require a DBS check?

Whether or not a DBS is required depends upon various factors such as the environments, the activity being completed, the duration and the subjects involved.

We have created an online survey, which will help you identify whether a DBS check is required and the level of check that would be needed. Please select the link below

I have identified that I need a DBS check - what do I do next?

Please contact

Data protection

It is imperative that data is handled confidentially and securely to protect research participants and to preserve the reputation of students, staff and the University. Data Protection Guidance has been issued by the University and should be followed in all research studies:

Please ensure that this guidance is read carefully and issues of data security are explicitly addressed in applications for ethical approval.

Research integrity

It is the responsibility of all researchers to conduct their research ethically and professionally as well as to comply with relevant University policies. This applies to all postgraduate research students irrespective of the sources of their funding, their area of research or their experience as researchers.  At The University of Manchester, we have embedded a culture of good research practice based upon the ten Principles set out in our Code of Good Research Conduct

Researcher Integrity Training for postgraduate research students is provided through the University’s online training module delivered through the Epigeum Impact system. All postgraduate research students should complete this training during their first year. 

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Go to We recommend using the Chrome or Mozilla web browsers, since those are most compatible with Epigeum platforms.
  2. Click on the user menu (the ‘person’ icon in top right hand corner of the screen) and then on ‘Register’.
  3. Complete the registration form. You must include your student ID number in the 'institution specific field' and use one of the following email domains:, or Do not use the password that you use for your University of Manchester IT account.
  4. Enter the following token in the relevant field of the registration form: bba360ea
  5. You will be sent an account activation email to the email address you entered during registration. Please click on the link in the activation email to complete registration and activate your account. NOTE: If you do not receive the email in your inbox, please check your SPAM/junk mail. You can also resend the activation email via this link.
  6. Once you have activated your account, you can then log in using your chosen username and password combination. You will be shown the Epigeum programmes in the My Courses screen (if you did not enter the token during registration, or wish to enter a second token, please use the Enter Token button in the user menu).
  7. Select Research Integrity, Second Edition. There are a number of modules within the course. You need to complete all the modules within the ‘Core’ course. Once the course has been successfully completed (i.e. by achieving 80% or higher in the end of course quiz), you will be able to download your unique certificate of completion. You will get a certificate for each module and one for the ‘core’ course.
  8. The course can be retaken as many times as required in order to pass the course.
  9. Download the certificate from Epigeum and upload it to your eProg record and click Submit
  10. The certificate will then be verified and the Research Integrity Training milestone will be confirmed as completed by your School administrator.

If you require further assistance, please see the help page.