The Challenge

As an exclusively postgraduate university, Cranfield is a global leader in education and transformational research in technology and management. Its disciplines cover aerospace, agrifood, defence and security, energy, environment, management, manufacturing, and transport systems.

The diversity of these disciplines made ethics reviews a particularly complex issue. Before working with Infonetica, Cranfield had three separate ethics review processes covering its wide-ranging disciplines. Two of these three were entirely paper-based, while the other relied on an online system developed in-house.

Over time, the system administrator functionality became extremely time-consuming, and it was clearly unsustainable. Cranfield needed a streamlined and unified system that would support consistency across all disciplines – as well as a partner that could provide proactive support.

The Solution

After a rigorous selection process, Ethics RM was chosen. This was not only because of the wide range of processes that the system could easily handle, but its flexibility made set-up quick, even with Cranfield’s complex process flows.

“The system has proven to be very resilient. The technical support team at Infonetica are quick and helpful, and both reviewers and applicants find Ethics RM highly intuitive” – Research Excellence Framework Manager, Andrew Kirchner

The Outcome

Cranfield initially had applications based on four levels of risk and later introduced an additional level for human research that only requires a light touch consent approach.

They also have many plans for the future, including:

  • Analysis of workload of reviewers including transfers and escalations
  • Comparison of applications this year with previous years
  • Analysis of risk level changes both up and down
  • Analysis of timings compared with quoted times, delays and times on hold
  • Report by outcome – number approved, rejected
“With a partner like Infonetica, we feel confident about being able to make changes in the system and test them fully before going live.” – Brenda Roshier, Project Manager for the introduction of Ethics RM