Research Ethics System (Worktribe)

Oxford to move to online University research ethics application and review system

  • Improved researcher experience: the platform guides users down the right pathway via filter questions, prompts, easy upload and progress tracking
  • Process improvement and efficiency: relevant and tailored forms with in-built guidance; greater transparency; speedier validation; automated workflows; efficient response; fewer delays to initiation of research
  • More efficient, as administrators are released from managing an overly manual process, reducing workloads  
  • Oxford’s ethics system will be more in line with other leaders in the sector
  • Improved legal and regulatory compliance: the system will be a central repository for documentation, monitoring, oversight and reporting

The University is introducing Worktribe Ethics, an online system to support the preparation, submission and review of research ethics applications. The digital workflow will replace the previous offline/email process. A form will be generated in response to initial questions, ensuring that the questions asked are relevant for the project proposed. The new system promises to reduce manual administration and confusion about review pathways, and will bring the University in line with the sector.

The system will be launched gradually starting with applications from the Education Department, School of Archaeology, Faculty of Law and the Oxford Martin School (planned for July 2024), with other departments and divisions to follow. Please check this page regularly to find out when you will be able to submit your applications online, rather than using the Microsoft Word application forms by email. In the meantime, please follow the existing process for submitting an ethics application – any Word/paper  applications already in process when the system goes live for a department can continue to follow the offline process. Please see below the current timeline for planned rollout and adoption. This page will also be updated with dates for when departments and divisions can no longer submit using the Microsoft Word form. From this date, all applications will need to be made via the online system

Research ethics:

Ethics approval is needed for all research involving human participants and/or personal data. Once the system is implemented, researchers requiring University ethics approval for their project will prepare and submit an ethics application online via Worktribe Ethics.

The ethics review part of the process remains unchanged. Administrators will direct applications to the appropriate departmental or inter-divisional ethics committee via the system and co-ordinate committee comments back to the applicant.  


The Worktribe ethics application form has been designed to be intuitive and easy to use.  
Information on how to access the Worktribe Ethics system, as well as the guidance and support available, will be published on this page. For guidance on the questions, applicants will be able to click on the [?] buttons within the system itself. 

Rollout and Adoption Timelines 

research ethics system worktribe roll out and adoption timelines 20 june v1

Above image shows the project timeline for rollout and adoption. An accessible PDF version is available to download on this link

Contact us

Project Manager: Damon Strange