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UCD Office of Research Ethics

An Oifig Eitic Thaighde UCD

Access to UCD Students

Please note that the process for seeking permission to access UCD students has changed and applicants should read the following:


Guidelines for UCD Researchers requesting Access to UCD Students for Research Purposes:

All access to UCD Students is now obtained through either the HREC Application Form (HREC Doc 9) or the Low Risk/Exemption Form 2019 (HREC Doc 8), depending on whether a full ethical review or an exemption is required.  Both forms now contain a section on Access to UCD Students and applicants are only required to complete this section if they are seeking access to UCD students, or if they wish to conduct a campus-wide survey.  

  • Submissions for a full ethical review that include a request to access UCD students will be reviewed by the HREC as part of the ethical review for the study, and applicants who satisfy the requirements of the committee will receive ethical approval and permission to access UCD students in the same HREC Approval Letter.
  • Submissions for exemption from full ethical review AND permission to access UCD students will be reviewed by the HREC if you are accessing students in more than one school.   If your submsision for exemption meets the requirement for exemption you will be issued with a reference number and your form will be then be reviewed by the HREC  for permission to access students.

Researchers who wish to access students should note that upon receiving either ethical approval or exemption and permission to access students in more than one school should, as a matter of courtesy, contact the head of school (s).  This is to ensure that there is no objection to the researcher recruiting participants from the school. 


Requests to access students for the purposes of carrying out campus-wide surveys:

The University Student Survey Board (USSB) processes requests to access UCD Students from Internal and External applicants that have already obtained ethical approval or exemption from a full ethical review as above.  The Office of Research Ethics will process your request for you once you have submitted either an exemption form or full application form.  

The HREC Chairs and all Heads of Schools have the right to refuse any request and may seek advice from the UCD Research Ethics Committee (REC).

For further information please see the REC Access to UCD Students Policy and note the following points:

  • Researchers should respect and protect the welfare and rights of individuals who participate in research;
  • Researchers should recognise and accept their responsibility for ensuring that research will be conducted ethically and in accordance with UCD Research Ethics Guidelines.
  • Researchers should note that while they may not require ethical approval for their study - they are obliged to seek exemption from full ethical review.
  • Researchers must only pursue research questions that are designed to contribute to knowledge, be committed to the pursuit and protection of truth, and rely only on research methods that are appropriate to the discipline for which they are trained;
  • Researchers should engage in research practices and use only those techniques for which they are trained by qualification, education or experience;
  • Researchers should strive to ensure and maintain high standards of competence in their work, to recognise the boundaries of their particular competencies and the limitations of their expertise;

Please note that this Policy is currently under review and an updated version will be available soon.  This policy and the University guidelines and policies on research ethics apply to all members of University College Dublin. This includes non-Academic staff and students. External Individuals and Organisations whose research utilises UCD facilities or takes place on UCD premises will also be expected to comply with these policies and procedures.  Please see External Researchers section of this website.