Manchester City Council

Social care & support Apply for Research Governance approval

Research Governance Framework

What is research governance?

Research governance is the means by which the quality of research can be assured and the rights of those involved can be protected. Published in 2001, the research governance framework (RGF) sets out a number of standards and procedures for anyone involved in research, in five areas:

  • ethics
  • science
  • information
  • health and safety, and
  • finance.

The purpose is to: 

  • Be aware of what research is being undertaken
  • Ensure the dignity, rights, safety and well-being of researchers and participants are protected
  • Safeguard researcher's integrity and make sure of compliance with standards
  • Take full responsibility for how research is carried out.

What is Research?

For the purposes of research governance, research means the systematic collection of data, using explicit research methods and techniques. Only those studies where information is collected from or about individuals, who may be Manchester City Council social care and support service users, their relatives and friends or council staff, are covered by the RGF.

If you are unsure of whether something is research please contact the Policy Officer and they will be happy to advise.

What to do?

If you wish to carry out a piece of research please contact the Policy Officer to discuss your proposals:

Tel: 0161 234 1655

You will then be required to complete an application form so that the risk it would present can be assessed.

You must return:

  • a completed application form
  • any questionnaires to be used
  • focus groups / consultation questions if applicable 
  • interview schedules if applicable
  • consent forms if applicable
  • information sheets if applicable
  • letters to participants if applicable
  • any other research tools to be used

What to cover in your application?

You must ensure in your application that: 

  • A sponsor has been identified who is willing to take overall responsibility for confirming that everything is ready for the research to begin (This may be Directorate for Families, Health and Wellbeing for internal staff)
  • Ethical standards are met (including any details of external ethics review)
  • The quality of methods meets the required standard (including any details of external methods review)
  • Sound arrangements are in place for the financial management of research, including the exploitation of intellectual property
  • There is free access to information (in accessible formats) both on the research being conducted and on the findings of the research once these have been subjected to appropriate review
  • The safety of participants, and of research and other staff must be given priority at all times and health and safety regulations must be strictly observed.

What happens next?

Once all of the above has been received the Policy Officer will review the research. This will be done using the research assessment form. If it is agreed that the research is ethically and methodologically sound, and successfully minimises levels of risk to participants, it will be recommended to the Head of Strategic Business Support that the research is approved. 

If there are further information requirements or areas of the project, which do not meet ethical or methodological standards, the applicant will be informed of this and asked to resubmit the application with amendments.

Once the research is approved a formal letter authorising the research to take place will be sent to the applicant.

How long will it take?

There is no exact timescale for how long it will take for you to gain research governance approval. It is best to contact us as soon as possible in case any changes are required before the proposed research can be approved.

Changes when research is taking place?

If there are any changes to the research after approval is granted you must re-apply for research governance approval in accordance with the procedure above.

What to do when the research is completed?

Once the research is completed it must be copied to the Policy Officer in both electronic and hard copy.

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