In March 2020, the Health Research Authority (HRA) and devolved administrations announced their decision to stop reviewing applications for individual undergraduate and master’s student projects to create capacity for urgent COVID-19 research. From 1 September 2021, the HRA have introduced new eligibility criteria for standalone student research.
The new criteria mean that some master’s level students will be able to apply for ethics review and Health Research Authority (HRA) and Health and Care Research Wales (HCRW) Approval or devolved administration equivalent. Standalone research at undergraduate level that requires ethics review and/or HRA and HCRW Approval (or devolved administration equivalent) cannot take place.
Doing an HRA approved study is not a requirement of the STP and is not normally a requirement of an MSc. Whether HRA approval for a project is required is dependent on the nature of the project itself. A large proportion of STP trainees do projects that do not need HRA approval.