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Research Ethics

The Computer Science Departmental Research Ethics Committee (CS-DREC) is part of the University of Oxford Central Research Ethics Committee (CUREC) system.

This page contains some information specifically tailored to the needs of the Computer Science Department; the master version of all information and documentation is on the CUREC website.


There may be unanticipated risks when you do any experiment.

Our goal is to try to anticipate and identify as many potential risks as possible, to reduce harms where possible, and to develop a plan for contingencies when they arise. Any well-designed experiment will plan for the unexpected.

Beyond tangible harms, there is significant risk to personal, departmental and institutional reputation for not considering ethical consequences of your work!


Further guidance and sample applications are available for CS Department staff and students, online here.


Running studies with people can be hard. There are many ways to approach it and if you'd like help designing your experiment before you ask the ethics committee, the Human-Centred Computing research group is happy to be contacted (

The CS-DREC team is always available for an informal chat (