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Durham University

Research and Innovation Services

Governance, Ethics & Safety

You will need to consider any ethical risks relating to your project, and complete any required ethical review processes before starting work. Before you begin, you will also need to make sure that other governance considerations are addressed, including:

  • ensuring appropriate insurance cover
  • any procedures required to ensure the safety and wellbeing of project team and participants
  • obtaining any necessary permissions or licenses.

For more information see the Ethics & Governance toolkit.


Clear communication is key to effective collaboration.

A collaboration agreement should be put in place at an early stage to clarify the goals of the project, the roles and responsibilities of each partner, and the terms that will govern the collaboration. Issues to consider include:

  • Roles & responsibilities
  • Governance of the project (e.g. how changes in the research design will be made)
  • Resource-sharing
  • Disclosure of conflicts of interest
  • How data will be collected, stored and shared
  • Authorship, including the process and criteria by which authorship and credit will be assigned
  • Financial management
  • How intellectual property rights and ownership will be addressed
  • Any requirements for training or supervision of PGR students
  • Compliance with all funder and regulatory requirements relevant to the project
  • Estimated timescales for the project