The University has moved to Business Continuity Plan 0, and is fully open for teaching and research. However, researchers should be mindful that some research participants may be reluctant to return to taking part in face-to-face research studies, and it may be appropriate to offer other methods (online or remote). The requirement for separate COVID-19 risk assessments for the conduct of in-person research has been revised, and a summary is below. Full information is on the CUREC COVID-19 guidance webpage.
Studies conducted on NHS premises / Hospital sites
COVID-19 safe procedures for in-person human research conducted on hospital premises remain aligned with NHS procedures. As such, separate COVID-19 risk assessments still must be submitted with applications for ethics approval that will be conducted at the following locations:
- NHS premises (including clinical settings within NDCN and Psychiatry)
- WIN/FMRIB/OHBA facilities
- Department of Experimental Psychology’s Old Rectory building
- Non-clinical settings if the research participants are vulnerable
Other studies conducted in the UK
In-person studies involving research participants may proceed, either on University premises or elsewhere, provided that the research can be conducted in a COVID-19 secure way, is subject to appropriate risk assessment and all current local government and University Departmental guidance is followed. A separate COVID-19 risk assessment is not required.
All members of the University are asked to take steps to reduce COVID-19 risks, and be considerate towards others. This includes:
- Letting fresh air in when indoors
- Respecting those who choose to wear a face covering and offering to wear one if not already doing so
- Respecting other people’s space
- Keeping up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations
Studies conducted outside of the UK
Researchers must follow local government guidance for each Country/Territory and COVID-19 related risks must be included in all fieldwork risk assessments.
Researchers must give:
- details of current COVID-19 situation in the territory in which the study will be conducted
- confirmation that conducting research activity is in line with local government or ministry of health guidance
- risk mitigation steps that will be taken (for example use of PPE, social distancing, hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning, training of staff)
- confirmation that your local unit or department and the local ethics committee are satisfied that it is safe for the study to resume or start