Stewarts Care embraces ethical research that informs policy and improves the lived experiences of the people we support through researching, advocating and implementing meaningful change.  

Stewarts Care aims to promote, support and encourage research that benefits individuals who access Stewarts Care services and the wider sector. 

Research Ethics Committee   

The Committee is made up of eight members from lay (primary professional interest is not in clinical research), medical, scientific, and non-scientific backgrounds (with expertise in clinical research). Many of the members are active researchers in the area of professional research, in particular the field of intellectual disabilities.    

The Committee meets approximately 5 times per year and promotes, supports and encourages research. They lead the organisation in its commitment to:  

  • Develop a comprehensive research ethos at all levels of academic enquiry encompassing topics that centre on individual, service, professional and organisational issues. 

  • Promote the standards of applied research and evidence-based practice when reviewing ethical applications.   

  • Advocate individual service user participation in research projects where possible.  

  • Review proposals to undertake research which falls outside the term "clinical trial".   

  • Have oversight of all research being undertaken within the organisation. 

The Stewarts Care Research Ethics Committee operates according to the general principles of medical ethics including the Declaration of Helsinki and international and national Health Research regulations. 

2024 submission dates for receiving research proposals for Stewarts Care Research Ethics Committee meetings are as follows:   

  • Monday June 10th 

  • Monday September 2nd 

  • Monday November 11th 

Operating procedures for Stewarts Care Research Ethics Committee  

  • Researchers should be explicit about their role and position in the research.  

  • Researchers must be explicit as to their role and area in the service (if Stewarts Care employees), in order to identify any possible relationship between the researcher and the participants.  

  • Applicants are responsible for informing Stewarts Care Research Ethics Committee if their project changes significantly during the period for which approval has been given. In such cases, the Committee will determine if a new application for approval is necessary, or if only amendments to the conditions of the approval are required.  

  • In the case of student researchers, the academic supervisor must sign the declaration in Section 7 of the Research Ethics Application Form. 

  •  Incomplete or unsigned submissions will not be reviewed. 

  •  Ethics application must be made on the Stewarts Care Research Application Form. 

  •  Late submissions will not be reviewed (please see submission deadline dates above).  

  • A researcher must have written ethical approval before they commence research.  

  • On completion of the study, each researcher must provide a copy of their final research report to the Research Ethics Committee. 

New Research Programme Office

The newly created Research Programme Office is dedicated to enhancing service quality through active research and advocacy. Mohamed Maalim has been appointed as Pilot Research Programme Lead. The office can be reached by email at

How to apply to a research project 

If you would like to apply to a research project in Stewarts Care you must follow the below steps and complete the required forms.  

A hard copy of all relevant forms must be posted to Liz McMahon, Stewarts Care DAC., Mill Lane, Palmerstown, D20 XT80

A soft copy of the relevant forms must be emailed to 

Step 2A and Step 2B: Data Protection Impact Assessment

The Data Protection Impact Assessment Screening Form (DPIA) is an initial screening process. The form asks 10 questions in relation to data protection.  If you answer ‘Yes’ to any of the questions in the DPIA Screening Form, then you must continue to complete the full DPIA form

Click here to download the Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) Form 

Step 3: Legitimate Interests Form 

When completing the above full DPIA form, should the legal basis be based on legitimate interest, the Legitimate Interests Form is required.  Please note, if the legal basis is consent, then you are not required to complete a Legitimate Interest Form.  Click here to download the Legitimate Interest Form (PDF)

National Office for Research Ethics Committees 

Stewarts Care follows the ethics guidance issues by the National Office for Research Ethics Committees - NREC 

Please note, if undertaking research through an academic institution, you must also refer to their research ethics guidance.