Research Governance

Like all other NHS organisations, HENW utilises the Integrated Research Application System:

R&D Approval

Anyone wishing to conduct education- or workforce-related research involving our medical and dental trainees must register with IRAS and complete an NHS R&D form.  A PDF of the completed R&D form should be sent to our administrator, Rebecca Marland  along with the following documents:

  • the research protocol;
  • the CV of the Chief Investigator;
  • written confirmation that the study has received ethical approval (if deemed necessary) from the university sponsoring the research*;
  • copies of participant invitation letters, participant information sheets and consent forms;
  • copies of any research instruments (questionnaires, interview schedules, etc).


Once submitted, the IRAS R&D application is sent out for review by academic members of HENW’s Research Governance Committee. Applications are reviewed to ensure that the proposed research is appropriate, scientifically rigorous and ethically sound (we review applications for ethical issues now that NHS Research Ethics Committees have relinquished responsibility for NHS workforce research).

The business of the committee is dealt with electronically and applications are normally reviewed within 21 days of submission. The application can be (i) approved, (ii) approved with modification, (iii) rejected. The Chief Investigator will then be notified of the decision directly.

*There is normally no longer a requirement for a separate NHS Research Ethics Committee application to be made if the research is purely education/workforce-based, does not involve patients, tissue samples, etc., and is otherwise low-risk and non-contentious. For research being conducted as part of an academic qualification, however, the relevant university ethics committee would normally be expected to conduct an ethical review.   

Research Sponsorship

For research being conducted as part of an academic qualification, the employer of the student’s academic supervisor should normally assume the role of research ‘Sponsor’ – details of which will need to be included on the IRAS R&D application form.

For research being conducted under the aegis of HENW (e.g. under the supervision of one of the Associate Deans/Directors; by a Medical Education Fellow, etc.), then the approval of the Postgraduate Dean to act as 'Sponsor' must be secured. Once the IRAS form has been submitted to HENW, it will be passed to the Senior Research Fellow to review and make a recommendation to the Postgraduate Dean to accept (or not) Sponsorship of the study. If the Postgraduate Dean agrees, the application is sent out for review as outlined above.

If you need more detailed guidance on research governance, please contact Dr Agius      Tel: 0161 625 7668