Apply for approval of your research project

Closes 31 Oct 2030

Opened 14 Jun 2021


Research governance is the broad range of regulations, principles and standards of good practice that ensures high quality research. The process is based on national policy. We encourage quality research that benefits East Sussex County Council and our residents whilst considering our safeguarding duties to clients and carers.

If you wish to undertake research in East Sussex which involves or is about Adult social care or Childrens services clients or their carers, or involves social care staff, you will need to submit your research proposal to the Research Governance Panel.


Do you need Research Governance approval?

To establish whether your project counts as research, use this decision tool. It will help you decide whether or not your study is research as defined by the UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research. Please contact us if you are unsure.


Submitting an application

If you wish to submit an application to carry out research in social care at East Sussex County Council please complete this online form. Accompanying documents should be emailed to with notification that you have completed the application. Even if you dont have supporting documents it is important that you email to let us know you have submitted an application or your approval could be delayed.

The application form asks for details of your research including:

  • Details about you, the project sponsor, the project supervisor and co-researchers
  • The audience and methodology
  • Timescales
  • Funding
  • Other approvals such as ethics
  • How you have thought about data protection, consent, equality and safeguarding
  • Proof of indemnity insurance and DBS checks if relevant for researchers
  • Copies of topic sheets, letters, information sheets, consent forms etc. for project

NOTE: You do not have to complete the form in one go. There is a button to save and come back to the form.

This research governance approval is not ethics approval but it does require you to consider and prove that your approach is ethical. Ethics approval would usually be obtained from a governing body relevant to your research or your university before you start your project.

If you have approval from other bodies about the compliance with relevant legislation and national standards of proposed research activities, you may not need to duplicate these for Research Governance approval. Please email us with details.

If your research is through four or more social service departments you may also need approval from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

Depending on the nature of your research request it may be necessary to identify a supporting head of service for the project before your RG application can be considered. Please contact us to discuss the best way to go about determining whether ESCC is willing to take part in your research.

This form contains alt text for readers. Please contact us if you need other formats ore require a printed application form.

You can contact us with any questions or to arrange to discuss your project to see if you need to go through research governance at



Once your application is received, we will acknowledge within 5 working days and ask any initial questions. The reviewers will then provide a response in 15 working days.

We may ask you within this time for more information/documentation using the contact details you supply here.

You will either receive full approval (which may have suggestions to improve the research) or no approval which has conditions. You have the chance to action these conditions and re-apply for approval.


The Research Governance reviewers

The reviewers will consider your proposal to ensure that the questions and methodology are appropriate and safe for participants and researchers, and meet the requisite ethical standards. They will also provide advice on any changes that could be made to improve the quality of your final data in the role of critical friend.


Sharing your research

You will be expected to share the results of your research with your participants in a way that is easy to understand. You will also be expected to share the data you collect with the council, and this could be used to improve services in East Sussex.


Privacy information

The Research Governance team will use this application to collect data in order to process your application for Research Governance approval. By providing us with this information you are giving us consent to use the information for this purpose.

The data will be processed in accordance with the 2018 Data Protection Act and any subsequent legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulations. 

The personal data we collect will not be shared with anyone outside East Sussex County Council and will only be used to review the application. The data we collect will be held securely on computer for a period of up to a year before being appropriately destroyed.

You can read our privacy notice here.

Complete the Research Governance application


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