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Research governance committees

The Professorial Conferment Committee and the Research and Innovation Committee are the two main committees that govern our research. Both report to Academic Board.

The University Research Ethics Committee, which oversees the ethical review of research, and the Graduate School Committee, which oversees postgraduate research (MPhil/PhDs and Professional Doctorates), both report to the Research and Innovation Committee.

Professorial Conferment Committee 

Terms of reference 

The PCC is responsible for: 

  • Overseeing the annual Professorial Call, where staff can apply for a professorship or associate professorship.
  • Recommending to Academic Board the conferment of the professorial title upon University employees.
  • Advising the Vice Chancellor on the appointment of visiting and emeritus professors and visiting fellows.
  • Reviewing the procedures for appointing and conferring titles upon professors.
  • Reporting annually on these matters to the Academic Board. 

Research and Innovation Committee 

Terms of reference 

The Research and Innovation Committee is responsible for: 

  • Advising Academic Board on matters relating to research and innovation.
  • Overseeing the University’s strategic approach to research and innovation, including the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and any future research quality assessment exercises.
  • Overseeing the development and implementation of institutional policy, procedure and guidance in respect of research governance, environment, ethics, doctoral and early career researcher development, and to make recommendations to the Academic Board.
  • Receive and consider reports from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Director of Research, Graduate School Sub-Committee and Ethics Sub-Committee.
  • Receiving reports from schools considering strategic and policy issues relating to research and innovation.

University Research Ethics Committee 

Terms of reference 

The University Research Ethics Committee is responsible for: 

  • Overseeing the effective and efficient ethical review of Staffordshire University research. 
  • Monitoring and reviewing University policies and procedures governing the ethical scrutiny and conduct of research and recommending proposals for their development to the University Research and Innovation Committee. 
  • Receiving and considering high-risk and complex ethics review applications as referred by the school Ethics Review Coordinator, including those where a consensus cannot be reached by a school’s college of reviewers and Ethics Review Coordinator. 
  • To receive and consider any project applications deferred by the NHS independent peer review (IPR) panel. 
  • Convening a panel to receive and consider appeals lodged against a school’s ethical review decisions. 
  • Receiving and considering annual research ethics report from each school with a view to offering advice and recommendations as appropriate and to report to the University Research and Innovation Committee on any policy issues or outstanding difficulties identified. 
  • Undertaking and overseeing an annual Ethical Review Audit, in accordance with a schedule complied by the Quality Enhancement Service. To receive and monitor a school’s action plan to address issues identified by the audit and to disseminate recommendation of good practice to other areas of the university. 

Graduate School Committee 

Terms of reference 

The Graduate School Committee is responsible for:

  • Overseeing the governance of all Staffordshire University research degrees - MPhil and PhD degree courses and the research stage of all Professional Doctorates. 
  • Overseeing the approval of admission, progression, examination and award of all research degrees and to receive and approve all applications for changes of research students’ circumstances including supervision arrangements, study mode, extensions and intermissions. 
  • Reporting on admissions, progression and completion data to the Research and Innovation Committee, and in addition presenting an annual monitoring report of research degrees provision; reporting to the school academic committees on matters requiring school action. Referring strategic or policy issues involving research degrees to the Institute Committee. 
  • Overseeing the training and professional development to Research Degree students and supervisors, provided by the Graduate School. 
  • Convening and overseeing a ‘steering group’ for liaison with student representatives and for planning and organising Graduate School events.