The Research Office has overall responsibility for the promotion and development of research across the University, supporting the strategic goals of the University's departments and academic staff in researcher development, governance and policy.

Code of Practice for Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework  (REF) is an assessment of higher education institutions undertaken by Research England. It provides accountability for public investment in research, benchmarking information, and informs the selective allocation of research funding to UOC. It also serves to highlight the excellent research being undertaken by our academics. UOC’s UOC REF2021 Code of Practice has now been approved by Research England and we will use the code to identify staff, select outputs, and ensure equitable, fair and transparent decision making. The Research Office has directly contacted individual staff identified as eligible for submission to REF2021, and it is important that identified staff are familiar with the approved UOC REF2021 Code of Practice.

REF2021 Impact Case Studies

For information about how the REF and UOC use third party evidence of impact, see: External Guidance REF 2021 Information for Research Users and Collaborators

Research, Innovation and Enterprise Strategy

The 2018-2021 Strategy sets out the role of people, place and partnerships in achieving the University vision as a catalyst for individual and regional prosperity and pride with national and international relevance, reach and impact, through research, innovation and enterprise. It sets out how the university’s academic community will focus on practice-based activity grounded in the real world in key disciplinary areas. This will be achieved through impact, excellence in postgraduate and doctoral education, knowledge exchange, building capacity and capability, collaborative partnership and external engagement.

For further information about innovation and enterprise, please see our pages.

Research Innovation and Enterprise Strategy


Research Ethics Policy and Code of Practice

Ethical research practice is a fundamental principle at the University. All researchers undertaking research at or with the University are expected to refer to the Research Ethics Policy and Code of Practice for Research prior to the research taking place. An application must be made for ethical approval for any research project including human participants or other live subjects.

Any projects involving research within the NHS in England must be undertaken through the Health Research Authority (HRA). Where this is required for a project, this supersedes the University ethics process. Details on HRA application can be found on the HRA website.

The University’s senior member of staff for overseeing research integrity is Dr Colette Conroy as Chair of the Research Ethics Panel. The first point of contact for anyone wanting more information on matters of research integrity is the Research Manager, James Hodge, who can be contacted via email (

HR Excellence in Research

The University of Cumbria’s vison is to be recognised as a catalyst for individual and regional prosperity and pride, with national and international relevance, reach and impact. Our Strategic Plan – ‘Enriching People through Place’ - positions the institution as a provider of HE for Cumbria and a thriving, lead player in delivering professional higher-level learning to meet the demands of an ever evolving workforce and emerging markets. Our commitment to the Concordat supports the strategic plan by building research communities, highlighting excellent outputs, and providing recognition for the excellent research of our staff.

4 Year Review Report (Post Review)

App B - 2020-2022 Action Plan next 2 Years (Post review)

App C - 2018-2020 Updated Action Plan (Post review)

Research Ethics

Ethics guidance and templates

The following guidance and templates can be used by all staff and students.  Ethics application forms can be found below.

Privacy Impact Assessment guidance

General Data Protection Regulation consent checklist

Consent form - Good Practice

Participants information sheet - Good Practice

Good Practice Debrief Sheet

Ethics for staff and postgraduate research students

Ethics forms for staff and postgraduate research students to be submitted to

 Research Ethics Application Form Staff Research Students

Research Ethics Application Form Animals


Ethics for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students

For undergraduate students and those on postgraduate taught programmes, ethical approval should be sought by submitting the form below through relevant departmental procedures (usually via programme lecturers or dissertation supervisor)

 Research Ethics Application Form Taught Degrees

Research Ethics Application Form Animals





General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) GDPR

Other Policies and Guidance for Researchers

The Code of Practice for Research applies to all researchers undertaking research at the University. For Postgraduate Research students, this must be read in conjunction with the Postgraduate Research Code of Practice.

The Research Office supports the principles of the University Lone Worker Policy. These should be read in conjunction with the Lone Worker Procedures for Researchers, which consider issues specific to undertaking research.The University also supports the principles of open access.

Research Integrity

The Code of Practice for Research sets out the principles of good conduct in research to be adhered by, and directly supports the University’s commitment to the Concordat to Support Research Integrity (Universities UK, 2012). It also reflects our commitment to the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (2011).

The senior member of staff overseeing research integrity and first point of contact for anyone wanting more information on matters of research integrity is the Chair of the Research Ethics Panel and Director of the Institute for Arts, Dr Colette Conroy, who is also the confidential liaison for whistleblowers or any other person wishing to raise concerns about the integrity of research being conducted at the University, as set out in our process for dealing with allegations of research misconduct (section 5.1 of the Code of Practice for Research). In the case that an allegation of misconduct was received, a statement would be provided to the University Board following conclusion of the investigation process. This would be reflected in publically available University Board records, to improve accountability, and provide assurances that measures being taken continue to support consistently high standards of research integrity.

Open Access

The Open Access Policy sets the University’s expectation in relation to open access, and the requirements for eligibility for outputs in the next Research Excellence Framework (REF). Use our research repository, Insight, to make your research openly accessible: submit your author accepted manuscript as soon as it's been accepted for publication.



For any enquiries related to your research at the University of Cumbria, please get in touch with our Research Office:

Tel: 01524 590804


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