Research Ethics Service (RES)

If your study is led from England and involves the NHS in England, you should now use HRA Approval.

The Research Ethics Service (RES) is a core function of the HRA and is committed to enabling and supporting ethical research in the NHS.  It protects the rights, safety, dignity  and wellbeing of research participants. We have a duty to provide an efficient and robust ethics review service that maximises UK competitiveness for health research and maximises the return from investment in the UK, whilst protecting participants and researchers.

The Research Ethics Service consists of:

  • Research Ethics Committees (RECs) in England reviewing health and social care research.
  • Volunteer members and chairs that sit on NHS RECs;
  • Staff (based in HRA offices throughout England).

How we work

We have a dual mission:


We do this by:

  • providing robust, proportionate and responsive ethical review of research through Research Ethics Committees (RECs);
  • providing ethical guidance to RECs;
  • providing and delivering a managed structure to support RECs;
  • delivering a quality assurance (QA) framework;
  • delivering a training programme
  • working with colleagues across the UK to maintain a UK-wide framework for ethical review;
  • working with colleagues in the wider regulatory environment to streamline the processes for approving research;
  • promoting and supporting transparency in research.


Development of the Research Ethics Service

Some of the considerable advances achieved are:


Providing feedback on your experience of HRA services

We always welcome feedback from users of HRA services. If you would like to tell us about your experience of our services then please complete our online feedback form. More information about this form and how we use the information that is gathered is provided in the user satisfaction section of this site.