Science Gallery Dublin Research Ethics Comittee

Research at Science Gallery Dublin

Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin is a dynamic, sociable, free-entry space where science and art collide through exhibitions, events, workshops and performances. Since opening in 2008, Science Gallery Dublin has attracted more than 2.4 million visitors, and is recognised internationally as a leader in public engagement at the interface between science and the arts.

Trinity College Dublin is one of the world’s leading research-intensive universities, so an important component of Science Gallery Dublin’s work is connecting members of the public with the university's current research and researchers. A key part of the Science Gallery Dublin programme is the ‘Lab in the Gallery’ series, in which we facilitate real research being carried out in the gallery. Visitors are invited to take part in this research — contributing data, samples, opinions, etc. — and, in doing so, contribute to important research across a range of scientific disciplines. This is a compelling experience for the visitor because they gain a unique insight into the scientific process. It is also useful to the researcher, who gains access to a large cohort of willing subjects eager to contribute and to learn about their work.


Research Ethics at Science Gallery Dublin

Many research projects hosted in Science Gallery Dublin as part of an event or exhibition are existing projects that we are presenting in a public context for the first time. For these projects, researchers usually request an amendment to their existing approval from the Research Ethics Committee (REC) that first granted it. The Science Gallery Dublin team usually assist with the amendment requests, to help explain why the project might benefit from direct public involvement.

Some research projects hosted in Science Gallery Dublin are new projects, developed for or in response to an exhibition theme. For these projects, researchers can now apply for ethics approval from the Science Gallery Dublin Research Ethics Committee.


The Science Gallery Dublin Research Ethics Committee

The Science Gallery Dublin Research Ethics Committee (REC) was established to ensure that all research and data collection at Science Gallery Dublin is done to the highest ethical standards. Since 2008, Science Gallery Dublin has hosted many research projects that have culminated in peer-reviewed publications. We have also established an international network of peers who are leaders in the area of the overlap between research and public engagement. This was an opportunity to combine that experience and expertise, and form a novel REC designed specifically for members of the public taking part in leading-edge research at Trinity College Dublin.

The Science Gallery Dublin REC process will reflect the high standards set out by the university, and also incorporate models of best practice for research in a public engagement context. We will also draw from the fact that Science Gallery Dublin is one of 19 national hubs contributing to the development of a Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) toolkit as part of a European Commission (EC) funded project that will be central to Horizon 2020 (2014-2020), the new EC Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

Science Gallery Dublin produces public engagement and education programmes across a range of scientific themes. The research facilitated by Science Gallery Dublin is therefore based in multiple fields of study (for example, health, psychology, neuroscience, social geography, etc.) and always includes a public engagement component. The members of the Science Gallery Dublin REC therefore span multiple research disciplines, with specific members invited in to reflect the projects being reviewed. Members also represent the legal, data protection, and public engagement aspects of the applications. Each meeting will be chaired by Science Gallery Dublin.



Application Process

Any research project that takes place at Science Gallery Dublin and involves human participation — surveys, behavioural studies, physiological tests, etc. — must have independent review by a Research Ethics Committee before it can begin. The Science Gallery Dublin REC accepts only Level 1 submissions. Research involving minors or requiring expert legal input requires a Level 2 REC.

Application forms and submission guidelines are linked below, and should be sent to The list of submission deadlines, meeting dates, and decision dates are posted below.

Applications are considered on their own merits. Key principles include:

  • Prospective participants should be fully informed about the research, and what taking part will involve
  • Participants should be given enough time to consider the risks and benefits of taking part
  • Participants should be informed of any conflicts of interest
  • Participants should receive details on how they can withdraw their data from the study
  • Anonymity of participants should be maintained

All research projects considered by the Science Gallery Dublin REC must reflect the Trinity College Dublin Policy on Good Research Practice.



Application form: PDF / Word
All research projects considered by the Science Gallery Dublin REC must reflect the Trinity College Dublin Policy on Good Research Practice.



Next Application Deadline: 5pm Wednesday 17th January 2018
Next Science Gallery Dublin REC Meeting: Tuesday 23rd January 2018
Decisions by: Friday 26th January 2018