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Second Reader - Role and Responsibilities

The role of the second reader in the ethics review process.


For the purpose of an ethics review at the University, a second reader is an independent member of staff (usually an academic staff member of the Department) who is external to the project. They should have sufficient subject matter knowledge but must not be involved in the project or have any other conflicts of interest (e.g. joint supervisor, spouse, etc).

For research projects, being carried out by staff or Doctoral students, which have low potential to do harm and are therefore suitable for a Departmental level ethics review, a Second Reader will need to be appointed by the Lead Investigator, via the Ethics@Bath.

The Second Reader will:

  • consider the information provided, by the Lead Investigaor, via the Ethics@Bath system;
  • have a broad understanding of the research topic;
  • have the ability to identify ethical implications arising from the research and independence to challenge the researcher’s view when appropriate;
  • declare a conflict of interests if appropriate;
  • be able to judge the content provided on the ethics form and, if appropriate, confirm that no formal ethics review is required and as such proportionate review, at Departmental level, is sufficient. Alternatively, provided constructive comments, via the Ethics@Bath system so that the Lead Investigator can take corrective action where needed.


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