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National Research Ethics Approval

The Co-ordinated System for gaining (NHS) Permission (CSP) will guide you through the process of gaining ethical approval for your research.

1. By choosing the relevant application, IRAS will tell you which forms you need to complete to gain ethical approval. If you wish to have the support of the Clinical Research Network (CRN) as a portfolio project, you will need to complete a CSP application form, indicating which Comprehensive Local Research Network (CLRN) will support you through the process – generally this will be where the Chief Investigator is based.

2. CSP aim to inform you within two working days of receiving your application whether your study can proceed through their process as a portfolio project.

3. Both portfolio and non-portfolio projects can continue through the IRAS system, but all non-portfolio forms will need to be submitted directly to Solent (

4. The Chief Investigator will then be able to submit the IRAS forms and book the ethical review (i.e. a slot on the committee agenda). You can ring your local Research Ethics Committee to do this.

5. If you believe your research study presents ‘no material ethical issues’ (e.g. there is less risk, burden or intrusion to the participants), it can be reviewed and approved by a proportionate review sub-committee on behalf of the REC. The sub-committee consists of three members of the REC, including at least one lay member. The application is reviewed by the sub-committee within 10 days of receipt of a valid application, either at a meeting or by correspondence.