Skip to search box Skip to content Skip to main navigation



  • Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT)

    A Randomised Controlled Trial is a scientific procedure in which treatments are allocated to subjects at random, in order to eliminate bias. It is considered the most reliable form of scientific evidence because it ensures that different treatment groups are statistically equivalent.

  • Recognised Research Ethics Committee

    A Research Ethics Committee (REC) recognised by UKECA (UK Ethics Committee Authority) under the Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2004. A list of all recognised RECs is available on the NRES website

  • Regulators

    Organisations that ensure research is conducted in line with the law, e.g. such as the Human Tissue Authority, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

  • Reproducible

    A reproducible measurement is one that is repeatable, but not necessarily valid.

  • Research & Development (R&D) office or department

    This term is used generically to describe Research and Development offices or departments within either NHS organisations or universities, Meaning the office or department that has responsibility for research governance in that organisation.

  • Research Ethics Committee (REC)

    Research Ethics Committees are independent committees that review the ethical issues within research projects that involve people as participants or their data or tissues. Research Ethics Committees (REC) are established throughout the UK within the NHS, in particular universities as well as independent Phase 1 committees.

  • Research governance

    Research governance is a term that was first used in the UK Health Departments' Research Governance Frameworks (now replaced by the UK policy framework for health and social care research). Research governance is commonly used in a generic way to encompass the standards and principles of the UK policy framework, including all applicable regulatory requirements.

  • Research passport

    A streamlined system for issuing honorary research contracts to researchers who do not have a contractual relationship with the NHS in the UK.  The system enables existing pre-engagement checks and assurances from substantial employers to be used by other organisations wishing to issue honorary research contracts to investigators.  More information is available below

  • Risk

    The likelihood of harm being caused by a hazard and its likely impact. The characteristics of risk include both the probability of its occurrence, as well as the magnitude and duration.

  • Risk management

    The process of identifying possible risks associated with a study and planning how to reduce the risk, or contingency plans should the risk occur.