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University Committees

Ethics Advisory Committee

Standing Orders

(Joint Governance committee of Senate and Council)

These Standing Orders should be read in conjunction with:

a) the approved University Ethics Framework which forms an Annex to this document and is available on the University's website or from the Research Office;

b) the Joint Standing Orders of Senate and Council.


A Chair who shall be a lay member of Council
A Vice-Chair who shall be a member of Senate
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)
The Chairs of the Faculty Ethics Sub-Committees
The President of Durham Students' Union (an observer to be sent if unavailable)
Head of Research Policy
A lay member of Council
A professional NHS medical practitioner with expertise of the NRES ethical review process
Three academic staff of the University appointed for their academic expertise in relation to Ethics

Period of Appointment

The period of appointment of all appointed members and the Chair is three years, renewable for a further term of three years. Members’ appointment dates should allow for rotation in the overall membership.


The quorum at any meeting of the Committee is one lay member and at least three other members of the Committee.

Expert Advice

Members are entitled to request and to obtain, professional legal, medical or other expert advice for the Committee, on any matters within the Committee’s terms of reference. They cannot individually, or collectively as members of the Committee, or by law, issue legal advice to others.


The Committee normally meets once per term. Additional meetings may be called at the discretion of the Chair, provided that at least one week’s clear notice is given to all members.

Agenda and Papers

Copies of the Committee’s papers, with an invitation to attend meetings for specific relevant agenda items will be sent to: the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), the Director of Communications and the Director of the Health and Safety Service.

Terms of Reference

a) to provide, in support of Council’s responsibility for the ethical governance of the University, an annual assurance report to Senate and Council on the operation of the University’s Ethics Framework. This report shall normally be provided in the Michaelmas Term.

b) to monitor and review the University’s Ethics Framework in the light of the University’s developing ethical experience and the external Ethics environment and to propose changes as required.

c) to provide advice to Senate and Council on ethical issues as the Committee deems appropriate or as requested by these bodies.

d) to review, in exceptional circumstances, referrals and appeals following consideration by a Faculty Ethics Sub-Committee.

Further Information


Members of the Committee are insured in their capacity as members of the Committee up to the limit/s set in consultation with the University’s insurers.