Welcome to AfRE

If you have an interest in research involving human beings, the Association for Research Ethics can help.



Venue: Bristol University

The Engine Shed

23rd April 2015

Working in partnership: AfRE and the University of Bristol

Full programme and booking form


Effecting cultural change in research ethics and integrity

Venue: University of Glasgow

15th June 2015

Full programme and booking form


Research Ethics Applications – a refresher course

Venue: Sheffield Hallam University

24th June 2015

Full programme and booking form



Research and Vulnerable Groups - 27th May, City University, London

Refresher training for REC Members - Sheffield Hallam University,  24th June.

Refresher training for REC Members - Cardiff Metropolitan University, 10th Sept.


AfRE Newsletter February 2015


If you enjoy our newsletter, please remember to click on 'subscribe' and feel free to forward it on to your friends and colleagues. Our February Newsletter can be found here




 A Master Class in Research Ethics


Research ethics, even in the social sciences, is a remarkably ‘fluid’ field of endeavour.  This means that researchers, research managers and research reviewers have a range of challenges to meet if they are to keep up to date and remain ‘ethically aware’. The purpose of this course is to equip researchers, research managers and research reviewers with ideas, templates, insights and up-to-date information on current issues in research ethics that will either assist their own work and/or enable them to run training courses on research ethics. To find out more, click here



The European Medicines Agency has released for public consultation a draft proposal for an addendum, on transparency, to the “Functional specifications for the EU portal and EU database to be audited - EMA/42176/2014.”

You can find a full press release on this topic here, and the document open for public consultation is available here.

Comments should be provided using this template. The completed comments form should be sent to ctreg@ema.europa.eu


ANSWERS FROM the research community

To see what people are saying so far, click here

An AfRE member university has requested that this question be posed. Please take a moment to read and respond. All replies will be collated, forwarded on,and will be posted to the website.

A question regarding researchers using themselves as participants (e.g. using their own blood samples).  This practice can be referred to as either self-study or self-experimentation.   Whilst we have managed to find some details regarding this practice in educational research, the area we are interested in is STEM based.

Do AfRE members:

  • Allow such practices in their institution?
  • What are their thoughts on this type of research?
  • Know of any relevant guidelines (either institutional, professional or other external body).

Replies please to: jackiemaull@arec.org.uk

What caught our eye this week

Weekend reads: Savage peer reviews, cosmology claim bites dust, $50 million diet pill hoax

Lancet retracts and republishes cardiology paper with admirable notice

‘Three-parent’ babies explained: what are the concerns and are they justified?

No, research does not say that ‘iPads and smartphones may damage toddlers’ brains’

Ebola: Call for more sharing of scientific data

Human v Superbug: Too late to turn the tide?


Earlier articles of interest

AIDS denialism paper retracted after Jeffrey Beall draws attention to it

Fake peer review fells two more papers

FDA allows testing of Aethlon's device in Ebola patients


Evaluation fundamentals for Horizon 2020


Weekend reads: Maggie Simpson publishes a paper, why correcting the scientific record is hard


A must for every researcher who publishes in an academic or scientific journal

Failure to Achieve Diversity in Clinical Trials Persists


Warning over experimental brain boost


Breast cancer drug tamoxifen has long-term effect, study finds



UNLV English professor fired for plagiarizing Updike, Said, Zizek, and more


Second expression of concern appears for chemistry group under institutional review


Revealed: 100 safety breaches at UK labs handling potentially deadly diseases


Why we must not stall technological progress, despite its threat to humanity


Health research chief seeks protection 


Promising compound rapidly eliminates malaria parasite


Latest news from the HRA

HRA Approval

HRA Approval programme update
Phased implementation of pharmacy assurances in HRA Approval
Forthcoming vacancies

Replacement for the Research Governance Framework
Protocol guidance and templates
Ebola – expedited Research Ethics Committee (REC) review
‘One stop shop’ for advice on regenerative medicine open for business
Live consultations and surveys – closing shortly
Consistency in REC review

Research summaries now on HRA website

To read the latest Newsletter, click here


NEW* - From AfRE Annual Conference 2014

Clinical Trials regulation in Europe

Liz Philpots

Security Sensitive Research

Tom Sorrell

Responsible publishing

Margaret Rees

Streamlining informed consent

Nalin Thakker

Cluster RCTs

Sarah Edwards  

Challenges of social care research

Martin Stevens


AfRE Annual Conference and AGM

Another year and another huge success for our Annual Conference - 'It may be ethical, but is it responsible?'

Special thanks go to our wonderful Speakers, who all gave their time and expertise for nothing more than a lunch and a coffee. We are eternally grateful to: 

Liz Philpots

Tom Sorrell

Margaret Rees

Nalin Thakker

Sarah Edwards

Martin Stevens

I would also like to thank the staff at the Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury for their wonderful service, Keith Lackenby for stepping into the breech at the last moment, and most of all, the delegates who made the day such a wonderful event.

AfRE Update

Following the AGM, I would like to thank the following Trustees whose time on AfRE Council has now come to an end:

David Croisdale-Appleby

Gella Richards

Mark Turtle

With thanks to David for sharing his skills and experience and being a wonderful support, to Gella for her enthusiasm and knowledge of the university sector and to Mark, a Past Chair whose humour, calm nature and exceptional support have been valued and will be missed.


I would also like to thank Tim Stibbs, our outgoing Chair, for his wise counsel and generosity of time and resources and welcome Margaret Rees, our new Chair of Trustees. 

A warm welcome too, for our new Trustees Andrew Rawnsley and David Anderson-Ford. Two highly experienced people from the world of research ethics who will further strengthen our increasingly elite Council of Trustees.


The Association for Research Ethics and the University of the Arts London worked together to present a pilot workshop on 6th November.

A challenging new initiative by AfRE and UAL explored the ethical issues and threats to integrity that may arise when conducting research in the arts at national and international level.

To find out more, click here


Save the Date!

Bristol, 10th March 2015

'The Internet and Social Media'


Subscribe to our new look monthly newsletter now!

Simply click here

Newsletter September 2014

Newsletter October 2014


New to the website

Summaries of the University Development Group(UDG) Meeting Minutes now available . Look to the right, select AFRE, and then UDG. Summaries of the Forum meeting minutes will be available soon.


Do you have a vacancy to advertise? Or need a new REC member? AfRE can advertise your vacancy now - no charge, but a small donation welcome. Just contact us for more information.


Look to the right - and click on our twitter or facebook button to keep up to date with what is happening right now.



Looking for presentations from recent workshops? If you are an AfRE member, simply log in. If not, please contact us to find out more about membership, or click here.


Student Membership to AfRE now available 


Are you a student currently undertaking research, or about to start? Then membership to AfRE is a 'must,' and at a special introductory offer of £25 per annum for the first 100 applications, there will never be a better time to join!

Read all about the benefits of membership, and how to apply to become a member, buy clicking here




'It may be ethical, but is it responsible'?

14th November 2014, Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury

Programme and booking form



Congratulations to our Editors!

Research Ethics has been accepted for coverage in Scopus. This is great news, and is a real mark of the quality and standing of the journal. It’s also a positive step for international visibility, and will attract authors for whom citation metrics and quality markers are of particular importance.

The feedback from Scopus was incredibly positive: “Outstanding journal, excellent content, high profile citations -- in short, green lights all the way. Welcome to Scopus.”


Training Programmes

AfRE is delighted to announce the launch of its new training brochure. Our training is designed with you in mind, so whether you are looking for in-house training days, sharing your training delivery with local partners or saving the pennies by hosting a workshop, we will deliver value for money, quality training, suited to you. For more information, download our brochure now.



AfRE Newsletter July 2014 available here


 Sponsorship Opportunities  

Did you know how easy it is to sponsor a workshop, a student or even a coffee break? From only £25, you benefit too!

 Or consider hosting an event, saving you up to £1500 delegate fees - not to mention promoting your organisation. Check here for more information:

Sponsor opportunities for workshops 

Sponsor opportunites for Conference

Hosting opportunities


Framework of Policies and Procedures

for University Research Ethics Committees available here

If you would like to participate in our Pilot Study, please contact jackiemaull@arec.org.uk

A series of workshops to support the framework will take place during 2014 - look out for dates in your area!


Regional Workshops:

Saving on time and cost whilst maintaining the highest standards

"Lecture set at a very appropriate level , imparting much information in a relaxed way with full opportunity to interact" .

"Loved the way you both used real examples to illustrate the points"

"It was really excellent to have such knowledgeable speakers who were also so friendly and spoke so honestly. Thank you very much."


In house, or joint training sessions designed to meet your needs and specifications

"I thought this was  excellent training which has provided me with very useful information and feedback to bring back to the University where I work".

"One of the best days training I have been to. Pitched at a perfect level and so friendly and relaxed!"

"Thank you, thank you, thank you for teachin an old dog learn new tricks - super training day."

Advice and Guidlines:

Available to all, member or not.


AfRE is an independent, self-governing body of Research Ethics Community Members, with the aim of fostering excellence in research involving human participants that will enhance human health or well-being.