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Human Research Insurance

Human Research Insurance

Insurance for Research Involving Human Participants

All research conducted by UCD staff and students and involving human participants and their data requires insurance cover. As part of their submission for ethical review applicants are required to confirm that they have completed an (opens in a new window)Insurance Self-Assessment Checklist and that they are satisfied that adequate insurance is in place for their research. The responsibility is on the applicant to ensure that adequate insurance cover is in place, the Ethics Committee will not be providing confirmation of insurance cover.

If, following the completion of the self-assessment checklist, the application has any queries they can contact (opens in a new window)insurance@ucd.ie for clarification. When contacting the SIRC Office, applicants should submit their ethical application form and the completed / partially completed self-assessment checklist.

Types of Insurance

This type of insurance cover protects both researchers and the University in the event that legal action is taken against either party by any person who allegedly suffers loss or damage at the hands of either party. This must be in place for all research activity. There is no cover under this policy for legal claims associated with any clinical or medical risks – see below. 

Standard UCD liability insurance policies exclude the risks associated with invasive, diagnostic, treatment, clinical or medical procedures. These can be summarised as any procedure that involves a researcher placing their hands on another person, any research involving a medical or clinical diagnosis, any research that involves treatment of any kind, physically obtaining a sample from a research subject (such as phlebotomy), development of diagnostic or treatment Apps or similar etc.

This type of insurance is needed for any research involving this type of work and researchers must ensure that it is in place – this type of cover can never be assumed.

The checklist can be downloaded (opens in a new window)here.

  • The checklist must be completed by all persons making a Human Research Ethics submission including those persons making applications to TMREC, URECS, and the HRECs.
  • It applies to both applications for full review and exemption from full review
  • The checklist does not need to be submitted with any application, however it must be kept on file for review if requested
  • Research must not proceed if there is any doubt as to the validity of insurance cover. Contact (opens in a new window)insurance@ucd.ie if in doubt. Significant liability may be incurred if research is undertaken without appropriate insurance cover.
  • You will be required, as part of your ethics submission form, to confirm you have completed this checklist and that there are no issues with insurance cover.


There are three parts to the self-assessment checklist. 

  • Part 1: Study Details – this must be completed by all applicants
  • Part 2.1: General Liability Cover - this must be completed by all applicants
  • Part 2.2: Clinical / Medical Malpractice Cover – this section only need be completed by persons who are directed to do so via their answers to Part 2.1.
  • Part 3: Sign Off – this must be completed by all applicants

Completed checklists should be held on file and be made available for audit purposes as required.

Contact UCD SIRC Office

University SIRC Office, Roebuck Castle, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 8771 | E: sirc@ucd.ie