Research Ethics and Integrity

Before you commence any data collection involving human participants you will need to gain ethics approval. Please note that this must be sought for any study involving data collection with human participants (i.e., if you plan to hold interviews, conduct surveys, focus groups, observation etc.). The process involved in obtaining Research Ethics clearance is shown below:

Please make a new application for ethical approval from the Arts and Humanities Ethics Filter Committee. This can be done online. This process should be started at least two months in advance of when you plan to collect data.

Please ensure that Arts and Humanities is selected from the drop-down menu at the top right of the screen.

There are guidance notes for completion on the bottom right of the screen.

The guidance notes contain links to the files that will need to be completed and uploaded as part of the submission, for example RG1a appropriate for oral history interviews, RG2 the peer review form, and the consent form.

Forms are normally completed in collaboration with your supervisors, who will give advice if changes are needed.

The create new submission option is on the bottom left.

The Arts and Humanities Ethics Filter Committee considers applications on a rolling basis. It aims to respond to applications within two weeks. It will committee review the application and communicate to the Chair of the supervisory panel and the researcher involved if there are any possible ethical issues with the planned research approach.

The researcher is advised if any changes are needed and given the opportunity to revise and resubmit the form and materials. These are then reconsidered by Research Ethics Committee and normally Research Ethics permission is granted.

Health and Safety

Office Safety

It is everyone’s duty to ensure a safe working environment. Your first point of contact if you have a health and safety query should be your supervisor.

Risk assessments are carried out and updated annually.

First Aid/Defibrillators are available from Security on each campus (extension 22222).

In event of an emergency requiring Police, Fire or Ambulance dial (9)999 directly then contact Security immediately. If working late you should make security aware and let them know when you leave.

Fire Safety

If you discover a fire, you should follow the Fire Safety procedures and activate the alarm immediately using nearest break glass point.

The School of History has 4 Fire Wardens:

  • Coleraine – Emmet O'Connor
  • Derry/Londonderry – Caroline Harkin, Catherine Russell, Billy Scampton

Demonstrating and Teaching Opportunities

Full-time PhD Researchers are offered a semester of mentored teaching training in semester 2 of year 2 of study. This involves taking two seminar groups on a level 4/first-year module for 11 weeks. Mentored marking experience is included. There will be teaching observation and feedback as part of the professional development programme. PhD Researchers wishing to avail of this opportunity are required to register on Ulster University's First Steps to Supporting Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Award in the first year of the PhD.

Successful completion will result in the award of Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Teaching experience is paid work, with claim forms to be submitted to the School Officer.

Thesis Format

Generic guidance on thesis format can be found under the Doctoral College Thesis Format guide.

Submission and viva

Details on processes, including Notification of Intention to Submit, and Approval of Examination Arrangements (including internal and external examiners), can be found on the Doctoral College website.

Thesis requirements

A PhD must make a substantive, original contribution to knowledge, which is embodied within a research study which has both breadth of coverage (e.g. within the context of a literature review or a similar survey of practice) and depth of engagement with a particular problem/issue.

Please read Ulster University PhD Regulations for PhD thesis for further guidance.

In History the dissertation-only PhD (‘traditional’ form), University guidelines state the maximum word count to be 100,000 words.

Publishing and your Research Profile

PURE is an online research portal available to all academic and research staff and PhD researchers at Ulster. Your PURE profile is created automatically when you join the University.  You can login to your PURE profile via PURE Support.

PhD Researchers can manage their individual profile by recording research outcomes such as:

  • Research Outputs and Publications
  • Activities
  • Press and Media
  • Datasets
  • Impacts

Subject Specific Training

The School of History offers and arranges mentored training that is specific to the research demands of the PhD and related career training, especially around impact, networking, and publication.

PhD Researchers are encouraged to join the subject's premier professional association, the Royal Historical Society.  The Royal Historical Society offers numerous opportunities for conferences, seminars, research funding and training.

History at UU collaborates with the Institute of Historical Research around professional development and training. Our PhD Researchers have acted as Regional Ambassadors NI for the Institute's History Lab Plus that focuses on early career development. The most popular training in the unit has been in oral history for modern historians and working in archives.

History participates in several national and international research networks. PhD Researchers are encouraged to join relevant associations to avail of professional development. PhD Researchers have, for example, become webmasters and editorial assistants/editors for the History of Science, Technology & Medicine Network of Ireland.

History runs a research seminar series at which staff and invited external speakers present on-going research. The range of topics and approaches are broad. It is a requirement that PhD Researchers attend and when appropriate present at this series.

History mentors PhD Researchers to promote their research to public audiences. Impact is an integral expectation of HEI research. History provides opportunities for publicly accessible podcasts and publications through, for example, the Epidemic Belfast project.

History mentors PhD Researchers to achieve academic publications. Staff are or have been editors of academic journals and book series. This can result in joint publications between staff and PhD Researchers, including in leading journals such as the Historical Journal .