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Using the online ethics form

How to use the online ethics forms system to submit, review and sign off ethical review forms.

How it works

The online ethics forms system replaces paper forms to bring all the ethics forms into a shared, searchable environment.

The form has an inbuilt workflow that accommodates the paper-based workflow of passing the form from the Principal Investigator (PI) to the Second Reader and finally to the Head of Department/School for approval.

Each participant is kept up-to-date by email alerts at each step in the workflow. They will receive a prompt of their tasks as well as a link to the relevant forms to carry them out.

Once the form is completed and has been through the entire workflow and is signed off, it will remain in the system in the appropriate visible list tailored to the individual’s view.

What you can do in the system

  • Create a new ethics form
  • Extract general reporting data (If you have the appropriate permissions)
  • Access the detailed user guide
  • Access support
  • Search for ethics forms (If you have the appropriate permissions)
  • View lists (libraries) such as 'my in-progress ethics forms', 'my second reader forms' and 'my approved ethics forms'

Creating a new form

To create a new form click on the 'new ethics form' icon. A new Ethics Form can be started by an Administrator, Student, Departmental Research Ethics Officer (DREO) or PI dependent on the requirement, but at the very least the PI must be known for the form to work. Best practice for Doctoral College Students is for the Student to start the form and name their Student Supervisor as the PI.

You'll see the new form as well as links that will help you navigate the form environment and fill the form out. These are:

  • 'home' link that takes you back to your 'forms home page'
  • 'ethics form user guidance' link that shows your the detailed 'ethics form user guide' document
  • 'EIRA1 guidance' link that shows you a document that describes the 'ethics policy' in relation to the form

Filling out the form

Use the buttons at the top of the form to navigate and fill the form. Each time you select the 'next' button, the form will be saved to the 'my in-progress ethics form library'.


Different users will access this environment for different reasons.

If you are submitting this form as part of a wider funded research project and are using the PAM system to record your application, the answer to the first question needs to be 'yes'. Any other scenario, the answer needs to be 'no'.

If you answered 'yes', the form will ask for a project reference number from the PAM system if 'research grant application' or 'KTP' is selected. The reference number format is 17-00000, with the first number referring to the year.

When you've added this in and clicked 'next', the form will save and automatically populate the project details section with the appropriate data.

If you answered 'no', click 'next' to fill out the remainder of the form manually.

Project details

If you are using a PAM reference, some of this section will be populated automatically. The fields that you will still need to fill out manually are:

  • brief description
  • Principal Investigator (PI) name
  • department
  • amount

If you are not using a PAM reference, you will need to fill all fields out manually.

Setting the Principal Investigator

The form uses a People Picker to guarantee the correct PI name is used. It's important to get this right as the reporting function relies on this field.

You can search by username or by using the book icon. Make sure you use the right person if many with the same display name have been listed.

Section 1

This section lists 14 ethics questions one question at a time. Select the 'next' and 'back' buttons to move between the questions.

Section 2 and 3

These sections list further ethics questions as yes/no answers. If you answer 'yes' to any of them, a comments box will appear for further details.


This section is where you include everyone who is involved in the ethics form review workflow for a particular project. As soon as all of the participants are known, they can be filled into the declaration and the form submitted into workflow. Once you have entered all the names, a submit button appears.

If you have entered the PI name in the project details, the PI field in the declaration will be automatically filled out. You must make sure that the PI is filled in the declaration as they will receive an email to start the workflow as soon as a form has been created. Everyone listed in the declaration will also receive an email notification about the form.