Severn Psychiatry Educational Research Ethics Process

Severn Deanery School of Psychiatry have collaborated with AWP Medical Education and the University of Bristol to create a pathway for obtaining ethical approval for educational research projects. To support this process we have created documents outlining the pathway, information on how to be sure your project is suitable for this pathway, and application forms, all of which are accessible through the School of Psychiatry webpage.

The first step, after having come up with a research idea in the field of medical education, is to make contact via email with the appropriate person to have an initial discussion about your project.

If you are a University of Bristol Medical student: You can contact the Head of Undergraduate Psychiatry, Dr John Potokar ( Your educational research ethics support is provided by the University and you will not require the Severn Psychiatry Educational Research Ethics Process any further.

If you are a non-trainee doctor, i.e. a consultant or specialty doctor:

You can contact the Director of Medical Education for your Trust:

AWP: Dr Angelika Luehrs (

Gloucestershire Health and Care: Dr Amjad Uppal (

SomPar: Dr Linda Heaney (

If you are a trainee doctor: you can contact the Head of the School of Psychiatry, currently Dr Melanie Merricks (, who is relating to the Lead Associate Dean of HESW, Professor Selena Gray. 

Your initial contact will ask you a set of screening questions to help determine if your project is a research project, educational evaluation project, or educational quality improvement project. They will also be considering if your project involves patients or carers and therefore requires NHS Research Ethics Committee approval ( 

If your project is an educational evaluation project or an educational quality improvement project, you can fill out the correct application forms and send it to the person who administered your screening questions for direct approval. You do not need the Severn Psychiatry Educational Research Ethics Process any further, although you can request further support as required.

If your project has been confirmed as an educational research project, you will be assigned a mentor, who is a local psychiatrist or psychiatrist in training with experience and expertise in research and publication, who will act as a ‘critical friend’ throughout the process of approval to help improve the quality of your research plan and design.  You should contact them to have an initial conversation to help develop and support your idea. 

Following a conversation with your mentor you can then fill out the Educational Research Ethics Application. This application form will be submitted to the Head of the School of Psychiatry, to be forwarded to the Educational Fellowship Peer Review body, which meets monthly. Your application form will be discussed at these meetings and either approved or not approved and feedback given. If your project is not approved you can have a further conversation with your mentor and reapply if appropriate.

Once your project is approved by the Educational Fellowship Peer Review body, this approval will be seconded by the Lead Associate Dean for HESW, Dr Selena Gray, and you can begin conducting your research. 

Please click the links below to download a copy of the documents:

Educational Evaluation Approval Form Feb 2017

Educational QIP Approval Form Feb 2017

Educational Research Ethics Application Form Feb 2017

Educational Research Information for Applicants and mentors version June 2017

Educational Research Mentor Topic Guide Feb 2017

Educational Research Screening Questions version June 2017

Overview Education research ethics approval process June 2017