The Royal College of Music expects all staff and students to observe the highest ethical and professional standards in their research.

Staff and students engaged in research foster good practice and intellectual integrity in all professional circumstances. Principles emphasised by researchers at all levels are:

  • Care and avoidance of harm
  • Honesty and openness
  • Accountability and appropriate documentation
  • Confidentiality
  • Informed consent
  • Avoidance of conflicts of interest
  • Compliance with the law and relevant codes of conduct
  • Due acknowledgement of collaborators, informants, participants or other contributors

All research involving human participants must have ethical approval. Ethical approval is also required for projects that may not involve human participants but raise other ethical issues in potential social or environmental implications of the study. Those wishing to undertake research involving the participation of other people should adhere to the principles outlined in the Concordat to Support Research Integrity.

In accordance with the 'Prevent' responsibilities of higher education bodies, intended to 'prevent' radicalisation/extremism, research students and staff will need to seek approval within their own institution to gain access to electronic or other material related to subjects concerning radicalisation and extremism. Such access will not be withheld where the student or member of staff has good academic reasons to access such material, in accordance with academic freedom principles.

Staff are regularly updated on good research practice. Professor Robert Adlington, the Head of Research, acts as the staff member overseeing research integrity and is the first point of contact for anyone wanting more information on matters of research integrity.

The Deputy Director, or in his absence, the Head of HR, acts as confidential liaison for whistleblowers or any other person wishing to raise concerns about the integrity of research being conducted, in accordance with the institutional Whistleblowing policy.

RCM Research Ethics Committee

Most applications for ethical approval should be submitted to the RCM Research Ethics Committee, as set out in the RCM Research Ethics Policy:

Exceptions are:

  • Researchers wishing to carry out research at other CUK Conservatoires (whether or not they also carry out their research at the RCM).
  • Students (other than holders of postgraduate studentships at the RCM) and staff who wish to carry out any externally funded research.

In these cases, you should apply to the CUK Research Ethics Committee and submit the certificate of approval to the RCM Research Ethics Committee by email to Lisa Hall at with the subject line: CUK Certificate of Approval {Your Name} - see forms at the bottom of this page.

RCM Research Ethics Application Deadlines and Committee Dates

There are various application deadlines throughout the year and corresponding committee dates:

Application deadline: Friday 18 August 2023
Committee meeting date: Week beginning 4 September 2023

Application deadline: Friday 27 October 2023
Committee meeting date: Week beginning 13 November 2023

Application deadline: Friday 1 March 2024
Committee meeting date: Week beginning 18 March 2024

Application deadline: Friday 19 April 2024
Committee meeting date: Week beginning 29 April 2024

An electronic copy of the submission, formatted into a single file, should be sent to the Committee Secretary, Lisa Hall ( with the subject: 'Application to RCM REC Your Surname'. Please copy in all named collaborators in this email. To learn about the RCM research ethics policy and application process, please refer to the documents below.

CUK Research Ethics Committee

The procedure, application forms and checklists can be found on the CUK website ethics section,

Applications to the CUK Ethics Committee should be signed off by an RCM internal representative before the deadlines listed on the CUK webiste. Please submit your completed applications to Neta Spiro in good time - we recommend two weeks before the CUK deadline.


If you have any questions or would like to discuss the ethical approval process further, please contact Mary Stakelum.

Dr Mary Stakelum

Area Leader in Music Education

020 7591 4734

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