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Research governance structures


Research governance structures

The University's research activity is overseen by University Research Committee (URC), reporting to the University Senate which oversees all academic matters. URC advises Senate and the University Executive Board on strategy, approves internal policy and monitors the research performance of the institution.

Groups reporting into URC

Full details of membership and terms of reference are available via the links below.

  • The York Graduate Research School Board has oversight of all matters relating to postgraduate research (PGR) students at the University.
  • Clinical Trials Sponsorship Committee has oversight of clinical trials involving the University, and is responsible for ensuring that the University fulfils its legal duties as Sponsor or Co-Sponsor.
  • URC also receives reports from steering groups established as needed to oversee certain areas of business in greater detail. These currently include the Global Challenges Research Fund Steering Group, and REF Strategy Group.
  • Faculty Research Groups (PDF , 375kb) bring together Chairs of departmental research committees to inform and support the development and implementation of research policy, to share good practice, to promote engagement with University research initiatives, and to refer shared issues to other University bodies, including URC, as appropriate.
  • Departmental research committees (DRCs) are responsible for maintaining an overview of research carried out in the department and for supporting the implementation and monitoring of the departmental research strategy. Drawing on support from the relevant Faculty Research Group, they are also responsible for implementing University research policy into departmental procedures. They report annually to URC via the Annual Departmental Research Review (ADRR) process.

Associated committees

  • URC works closely with University Ethics Committee regarding the management of ethical issues relating to research.
  • URC advises Planning Committee on issues relating to University planning, including resource allocation and generation of research income.

The following groups do not have a formal governance role, but play a part as needed in relation to consultation/engagement and dissemination/implementation regarding research-related business:

  • Research Forum brings together Chairs of DRC from across all three Faculties to provide a unified mechanism for disseminating and discussing developments in the internal and external environment and to facilitate cross-Faculty engagement. It also provides annual training and induction for new Chairs of DRC.
  • York Research Administrators Forum (YRAF) brings together research administrators from across the University to disseminate and/or feed into developments, foster effective working relationships and share good practice.

Contact details for individual committees/groups are available via the above links.

Navigating the structures

Navigating the research governance structures

1. New policies and initiatives, strategic approaches and any other business with significant implications for the research community must be formally approved by University Research Committee (URC). It is strongly recommended that colleagues developing business for consideration by URC should invite engagement from/consult with the wider academic community as part of the development process, prior to submission to URC.

Once an item of business has been approved by URC, communication of the outcome and/or the implementation process will also need to take place via the appropriate research governance and support groupings.

Guidance on routes for consultation, engagement, dissemination, implementation (PDF , 367kb)

Example of business progressing through governance structures (PDF , 192kb)

Other useful links:

2. Additional guidance has been developed to ensure a clear and co-ordinated approach within the University for communicating, discussing and responding to significant policy developments relating to research.

Guidance on handling external policy developments relating to research (PDF , 373kb)

Contact details

Zoe Clarke
Policy, Integrity and Performance Team

Tel: 4308

Additional Information

Diagram of interactions between core groups (PDF , 202kb)

Calendar of meetings

Calendar of meetings 2019-20 (PDF , 434kb)