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?


The next and final REC submission deadline for 2020 is WEDNESDAY 11 NOVEMBER, at 4.30pm.  Late applications will not be accepted. ‌

Please see this linkfor the 2021 REC Meeting & Submission Schedule.

PLEASE NOTE: 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.

  • The REC only reviews applications from staff members and Doctoral & MD (Doctor of Medicine) postgraduates.  The REC does NOT accept applications from Masters students, either taught or by major thesis. 
  • Are you unclear whether your research will require approval from Galway University Hospital as well as, or instead of the NUIG REC?  These guidelines will help you decide whether to apply to one or both ethics committees.  (Should you require the Galway University Hospitals Research Ethics Committee, please telephone the Secretary on 091-775022.)

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


In light of COVID-19 restrictions, we will accept 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).  


Applications must be emailed to as one single pdf document no later than 4.30pm on the submission deadline.

  • REC Application Form v7.3
  • NUIG REC app guide notes - V5.2 2020
  • Regarding Signatures
    Post-graduate students - ensure you and your supervisor have signed your application
    Staff - ensure you and your Head of Discipline have signed your application
  • Regarding Indemnity: Suitable indemnity cover is a requirement for every study submitted to the NUI Galway REC for consideration. While the NUI Galway Professional Indemnity Cover will cover the majority of studies, the policy may not cover all studies, or elements of studies. Investigators should carefully view the University Indemnity Policy to ascertain if their study is covered in full or in part.

    If you are confident that your study is covered by NUIG Professional Indemnity Cover, please state this.  An answer of ‘N/A’ is not acceptable, and will trigger a request for clarification.

    For questions about the University's Indemnity Policy please contact Susan Cavanagh, Head of Insurance Services
  • Regarding Garda Vetting:
    STAFF: please contact Marianne McNally in Human Resources: 
    STUDENTS: NUI Galway has created an app to streamline the Garda Vetting process.  In order to initiate the Garda Vetting Process, see the Admissions Office Garda Vetting information page.



Visit the Research Office Polices webpage to view related policies.


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.


It is the obligations of researchers whose applications have been approved by the REC to submit an annual statement of compliance (on the anniversary of approval), and a final statement at the conclusion of your research.  Please use the REC Statements of Compliance forms‌, and submit to