Ethics Review Panel

Role of the Panel

The RCVS Ethics Review Panel (ERP) trial originally ran for a one-year from the end of July 2016. Its aim was to provide a mechanism of ethical review for practice-based researchers, who may not normally have access to such through university or industry connections.

The trial originally came about following a joint working party established by the RCVS and the British Veterinary Association, which reported on ethical review of practice-based research in the UK. The report of the working party indicated that an increasing amount of clinical research is being conducted by vets based in private practice. Unlike those based in veterinary schools and institutes, private practitioners may not be so familiar with the regulations and best practice associated with research, particularly with reference to recognised veterinary practice and ethical review. One of the key recommendations of the report, therefore, was that the RCVS should consider establishing a committee for ethical review of practice-based research.

The trial has been endorsed by the BVA, BSAVA and BVNA, the latter two offering to provide mentors to assist veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses respectively and to provide guidance on planning and structuring research projects.


Extension of the trial

Following the popularity of its initial one-year trial, the ERP has been extended and its remit expanded to include consideration of equine and farm animal research proposals. The Panel will also consider applications relating to exotics, such as amphibia, tortoises, fish, caged aviary/birds and reptiles on a case by case basis.



  • Miss Zoe Belshaw MRCVS

  • Dr Madeleine Campbell MRCVS

  • Mr Peers Davies MRCVS

  • Mrs Alison Devonshire RVN

  • Miss Carol Gray MRCVS

  • Dr Richard Mellanby MRCVS

  • Prof David Morton CBE MRCVS (Chair)

  • Mr Malcolm Ness FRCVS

  • Dr Hannah Perrin BSc (Hons) MA PGCHE PGDipHE FHEA PhD (Lay member)



Beth Jinks (T 020 7202 0764,


Submitting a research proposal 

Guidelines for submitting a research proposal for ethical approval, along with an application form can be downloaded from the 'Related documents' box, at the bottom of this page.



Queries regarding the ERP, its work and proposals for consideration should be directed to