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The University of Southampton
Doctoral CollegePGR Handbook

Research Integrity, Ethics and Intellectual Property

Academic Integrity

The University expects that all students will familiarise themselves with the Regulations Governing Academic Integrity. Faculties that have Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies and that lead to professional registration may have additional reporting requirements. More information can be found in the in the Quality Handbook, including University of Southampton Academic Integrity Guidance and links to resources for students provided by the Library.



The University of Southampton is committed to undertaking its research, teaching, enterprise and other activities within a comprehensive ethical framework. It is the University’s expectation that staff, students and visitors should be aware of ethical considerations, ensure that they act in an ethical manner when engaged on University business and conduct their projects and studies to the highest ethical standards and to the highest standards of research integrity, quality and scientific rigour.

The University recognises its responsibilities to researchers and the wider community, and is strongly committed to fostering a culture and understanding of effective research governance, integrity and probity across the full spectrum of its research activities.  The University is committed to and supports the Universities UK Concordat to Support Research Integrity which sets out expectations on the University as an employer of researchers, as well as on individual researchers. To promote the culture of research integrity the University has produced a number of policies and procedures, and published a Research Integrity Statement. 

Research requiring ethical review is subject to the scrutiny of a faculty-based ethics committee or to sponsorship review where ethical review will be undertaken by a national body i.e. National Research Ethics System. Where ethics review is required, ethics approval must be sought prior to commencing a research project, ethical review cannot be undertaken retrospectively. 

For more information visit:

You can email the Research Integrity and Governance (RIG) team on  

Ethics Training

All new doctoral researchers are required to undertake basic ethics awareness training via the online module 'PGR-RS: Mandatory Skills for Doctoral Researchers', and to complete the short quiz at the end of the course materials.  Further information and instructions on how to access this course and the quiz are available here.

If your research will involve you working with human volunteers, you should also complete ‘Ethics 2: Working with Human Subjects’, accessible in the same way as Ethics 1.

You should also obtain appropriate higher level training on the use of ERGO, the University’s electronic document-handling system for obtaining ethical approval.  Your supervisor and Faculty Graduate School will be able to advise further on this.

If you fail to obtain the necessary ethics approval in advance, you may be prevented from submitting your thesis for examination.  The retrospective seeking of ethics approval is not permissible.

Intellectual Property

Please read the University’s Intellectual Property Regulations at

The University’s Research and Innovation Services (RIS) are responsible for the protection and commercialisation of intellectual property developed by staff and students. More information on intellectual property and the support available in this area information can be found on the Researcher Portal.

RIS is also responsible for putting in place agreements with companies for research and development projects including sponsored PhD studentships. If your PhD is being supported by a company, whether through funding or in-kind support, then the University should have in place an agreement with the company which will also have terms covering Intellectual Property. It is important that you understand the terms of that contract as they will apply to anything you generate. You also need to be careful with how you use the company’s confidential and secret information. Your supervisor should have a copy of the contract but if you would like guidance on what it means then please contact



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