Research Ethics Committee (REC)

The objective of the NUI Galway Research Ethics Committee is to safeguard the health, welfare and rights of human participants and researchers (in the case of hazardous materials) in research studies and to afford dignity to the handling and treatment of biological materials, taking into account the scientific procedures and concerns of the local community. For any research proposal to gain ethical approval it must be necessary and of a design that minimises predictable risk to both the research participant and the researcher. Therefore, you may require Ethical Approval if you wish to carry out research within NUI Galway for any area that involves humans or their tissues, biological materials or hazardous substances.

This page contains the documentation you will require to make an application to the REC at NUI Galway.  It also contains information on regulations governing ethical research and some useful documents on different areas of research that have, or may have, ethical implications.


During the period of the University shutdown, the Research Ethics Committee (REC) will continue to accept applications.  However, with the new restrictions in place and the challenges of remote working, it will not be possible to undertake the same volume of applications.  This may result in longer processing time the usual for some applicants.

Cognisant of this, please consider whether your application can be deferred until a later date - e.g. if the proposal relates to work that is not due to commence in the short to medium-term. Also, please consider the nature of your research within the context of government guidelines on social distancing and whether, in fact, the research can be carried out whilst these practices are in place: e.g. does your research require direct contact with participants, including for the purposes of obtaining consent?

A number of national funders have released calls (26th Mar) for COVID-19 related research. Successful applications under these schemes may require ethics approval and the Committee will endeavour to prioritise these for review/approval.

The next REC submission deadline is Monday 6th APRIL 2020, at 5pm.  Late applications will not be accepted. ‌

**Please note that as of April 2020, the REC will cap the number of applications accepted for review to a number that can reasonably be actioned by active committee members.  Submission pre-deadline is no longer a guarantee that your application will be reviewed.


In light of COVID-19 restrictions, we will accept April submissions in e-copy format only.  While electronic signatures will be accepted, please ensure your application has the approval of your supervisor (students) or Head of School / Director (staff).  

See here for REC 2020 Submission Deadlines.

PLEASE NOTE: If you apply for Ethical Approval, data collection for the research requiring approval must not commence before full approval is granted.


Due to the high volume of requests we are currently receiving, requests for amendment must be submitted using the REC Amendment Request Form.  Signatures and relevant documents (such as revised Participant Information Leaflets) should be supplied.  Amendments deemed appropriate for Chair review will be expedited.  Complex revisions may require an in-depth review process, or will be referred for full committee review.

Please DO NOT email the Chair - ONLY forms submitted to will be considered.

Only those applications that have been FULLY APPROVED can be amended.

Click on the titles below to reveal content

>> Who can apply to the REC?

>> How to Apply

>> Helpful NUI Galway Documents

>> National & International Guidance Documents

>> REC Annual Reports