Research Governance Framework

Guide to Research

Approving social care or related research on the Isle of Wight

As an ethical and competent learning organisation, the council will only be associated with safe research of a suitable quality.

Research benefits our knowledge of the community and the impact of what we do. If undertaken responsibly, competent research can improve lives and benefit our environment. We also expect that research is carried out in a sound, non-abusive and respectful way. This is why we have a process for assessing and approving social care and related research.

Our research governance framework (RGF) covers all forms of research conducted by external researchers, council staff and other research partners.

The council regards ‘Research’ as any study, survey or consultation intended to gather information, which involves access to people in contact with public or community services, either directly or indirectly.

The council will not sponsor or support research involving social care service users, their families and carers unless it has been approved by the research governance framework. Other research involving citizens using a wide range of public and third sector services may also be required to have full approval, so it is worth checking the status of any proposed research. The council’s manager responsible for the RGF can discuss early ideas and proposals, some of which won’t require approval.

Researchers with realistic and achievable proposals can apply online for approval to proceed. Applicants will need to prepare and submit a full research proposal that will set out how the project is worthwhile and safe to proceed. Information on what will be involved in making an application can be found on these web-pages.

Students undertaking research through a university can ask their supervisor to provide advice and support in preparing a research proposal. This website also provides the information needed to make a successful application.

If a proposal has already been approved through another research governance process, for example in another council, and NHS body or at a national level, there may be no need to make a full application. This can be discussed with the council’s manager responsible for the RGF.

Our research framework is not simply an approval process. Our knowledgeable reviewers will give helpful advice and support to competent applicants if it will improve the methodology, the ethical approach or benefits of a proposal.

We also advise applicants on making applications to other governance processes and NHS bodies.

Research applications pass through our research approval process, which compares proposals with our practice standards and principles.

If an application is straightforward, addresses the required standards and does not involve unacceptable risk to participants and the council, applications should be processed within two weeks. If your application is more complex, it will be referred to the Research Governance Board and this decision might take longer, up to six weeks. Click here to see the process flow chart for handling applications. (PDF, 69KB, 1 page)

A research project can proceed as soon as the council has supplied the applicant with a notice of approval to proceed. Your research will be registered with the Council and if appropriate on the Social Care Institute for Excellence online database. The named sponsor within the council will also monitor progress.

The council will expect approved research projects to stick to the approved project plan and any conditions that were issued on the notice of approval to proceed. The council will intervene and possibly withdraw its approval to proceed if there is evidence that this is not being done.

If you do not receive approval, you will be given reasons and information about how to appeal the decision. Although applicants can expect contact from the council during the approval process, if an application is refused, advice will be given on the reasons for refusal and any action that could be taken to improve the application.

Further Information

Contact the council’s lead manager for the RGF to discuss your ideas and the best way to make an application. Please email the Research Governance Lead, by clicking here.  

Research Governance Framework Handbook

The council has produced a handbook to guide potential research applicants and reviewers through the council’s RGF.