During your programme, you will be assessed via a variety of methods to a high academic standard. Regular feedback will be provided to enhance your student learning experience. Your progress will be monitored at regular intervals and academic decisions will be determined on your studies. The assessment process enables the institution to ensure that appropriate standards are being met in accordance with nationally agreed frameworks.
Please conform to the following protocols in relation to conducting research with research participants in the foreseeable future:
1. Students are requested to contact their academic supervisors prior to starting, or carrying on with any research.
2. Prior to commencing any research please consult the UK Govt. Coronavirus webpage https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
3. All ongoing research should make changes to how participant interactions are conducted.
4. With immediate effect, stop or where possible minimise, all face-to-face interactions with research participants. This includes research conducted with participants outside the UK.
5. In consultation with your academic supervisor, consider if participant interactions can be conducted remotely.
6. Wherever possible, it would be better if, with the agreement of participants, interviews are conducted over the phone or through an online interaction method like Zoom or Skype.
7. If this isn’t possible then the research must be paused.
8. Students recruiting or intending to recruit and collect data in their home countries (outside the UK) should abide by the above and pause face-to-face interaction with participants until further notice.
9. Students expecting to commence research, and gather data outside UK must ensure that their research application has been granted ethical approval by the Faculty/School research ethics committee.
10. Please note that data gathered without ethical approval will not be accepted for research purposes (dissertations or thesis).
11. Ethical approval granted for undertaking research by any other country, will not be accepted, and research proposals will have to be re-reviewed according to Swansea University ethics guidelines.
12. Those conducting research with the NHS should consult the HRA webpages https://www.hra.nhs.uk/planning-and-improving-research/policies-standards-legislation/covid-19-guidance-sponsors-sites-and-researchers/
13. Research participants should be informed that the research has been paused (if no other option of data collection could be arrived at) with an explanation of how the research method would change.
14. Research protocols and consent forms should be revised, to reflect the change in the manner in which data would be gathered.
15. Wherever possible research within the laboratories should be stopped, and if not possible, then should be conducted according to the government coronavirus guidance/measures of hygiene and distancing.
16. Unless the changes made to the way in which researchers interact with participants results in a substantial change to protocol, they will not need to submit a modification request. They should simply update recruitment documents to outline how they will remotely interact and then proceed. Kindly note that this is only a temporary measure.
17. All field trips and Travel for research (staff and students) should be suspended indefinitely.
18. No overseas travel for research should be undertaken. This includes attending conferences/seminars.
If you are conducting research on fellow students, or as an integrated part of daily lectures, then this permission must be re-requested, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, and assurance sought that the permission previously given still stands. Any student researcher, who is recruiting students outside of their own Faculty/School must move to remote recruitment or pause the study as outlined above.
An expedited review process will be considered for any new studies relating to COVID-19 where there are proven public health grounds to commence.
In order for such a study to gain clearance to proceed with face-to-face participant interactions and for this review to be expedited, the student must consult the supervisor and the supervisor must act at the Principal Investigator/Primary contact for the research and must provide the following information:
- What are public health grounds for the study to be conducted?
- What is the rationale for the study to be conducted at this time? Why can it not be conducted at a later time?
- Evidence of a Risk Assessment, considering the potential risk to the researcher themselves, signed off by the Faculty/School Director of Research and Chair of Faculty/School Ethics committee.
Researchers should copy their email to the Research Governance Officer.
Please title the email “New Study relating to COVID-19” for prioritisation.
Please contact your academic supervisor with your research ethics queries in the first instance.