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A hands-on guide on obtaining research ethics approval
  1. David Hunter
  1. Correspondence to Dr David Hunter, Keele University, Chancellor's Building, Staffordshire, Keele ST5 5BG, UK; d.hunter{at}


It is an uncontested truth that many medical students and practising clinicians dread having to get their research proposal through a research ethics committee. In this paper, the author, a long-standing member of a research ethics committee, offers a practical guide on applying for research ethics approval, detailing common mistakes and flaws in applications, and giving specific guidance on getting through what can seem a daunting process.

  • Research ethics
  • research ethics committees (RECs)
  • ethics
  • medical ethics

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  • Competing interests DH directs the Keele Centre for Professional Ethics training program for research ethics committees and their online MA in research ethics. He sits on the Keele University Research Ethics Committee as well as being an external member of the Liverpool Hope University Research Ethics Subcommittee. He is also the editor of the journal Research Ethics. He is a member of the Association for Research Ethics Council (AREC) and the Universities Research Ethics Subcommittee of AREC.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.