Explore UCD

UCD Home >

Research with Students

Research with UCD Students

Access to UCD Students for research purposes is now obtained through either a submission for full review or a low risk study submission, depending on whether a full ethics review or a low risk review is required.  

  1. Best Practice in accessing students
  2. Submissions Requesting access to students
  3. Campus-wide survey requests
  4. External requests

1. Best Practice

For all researchers accessing UCD students please note the following best practice guidelines:

  • Researchers who are accessing their own students to conduct an evaluation or feedback on their modules and who find that they have gathered useful data for research purposes - that is data they intend to use in a publication or public broadcast -  must anticipate/plan for the potential use for that data at the outset. 
  • Researchers who are accessing their own students should not assume they have permsision to access their students for a specfic research study. They should seek permission from the Head of School first.
  • UCD does not provide retrospective approval for any study that has:
    • gathered data before seeking an ethics approval, or
    • discovered useful data after an evaluative exercise has already begun within their school. 
  • 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 a full ethics approval for their study - they are obliged to seek a low risk approval.
  • 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.

2. Submissions for Review for studies with UCD Students:

  • Submissions for a full ethics review that include a request to access UCD students will be reviewed by the HREC as part of the ethics review for the study, and applicants who satisfy the requirements of the committee will receive ethics approval and permission to access UCD students in the same HREC Approval Letter.
  • Submissions for low risk studies and permission to access UCD students will be reviewed by the HREC if you are accessing students in more than one school.   If your submission for the low risk review meets the criteria 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 either before, or upon, receiving either ethics approval or a low risk study approval 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 that school. In some instances the committe require permission from the Head of School before submitting for an ethics review.

Student Recruitment in UCD:

While recruitment of students (or employees) can be facilitated via the student/staff e-zine, please note that the Targeted Communications System (TCS) should not be used for this purpose.  Sending broadcast emails to all students or employees will not be facilitated by the TCS for research purposes.

3. Requests to access students for campus-wide surveys:

The University Student Survey Board (USSB) processes requests to access UCD Students from Internal and External applicants that have already obtained ethics approval or low risk study approval as described above.  Once you have received an ethics approval you should contact the USSB for permission and a timeslot for your survey: USSB@ucd.ie


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

4. External Researchers requests to access students:

External individuals and organisations whose research utilises UCD facilities or takes place on UCD premises will also be expected to comply with the processes described above. For further information please see: External Researchers.

Contact UCD Office of Research Ethics

Roebuck Castle, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 8762 | E: research.ethics@ucd.ie