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Regulatory compliance

The Faculty embraces internationalisation as a key component of its research and teaching agenda, recognising the value of engaging with organisations based overseas to facilitate the delivery of impactful research and training opportunities.

As we initiate and develop international partnerships, we must all comply with Government legislation to safeguard ourselves and the work we carry out, while also mitigating against any potential threats to national security and the reputation of the University. This guidance outlines the key considerations and processes that have been established to support colleagues in meeting these obligations.


Do I Need a Contract?

If you are having discussions with external organisations whether it is a charity, another university or a company, you will need to consider if a contract is required. There are many different types of contracts depending on the nature of the relationship and you will need to consider certain factors such as the transfer of information, data or materials.  Please visit the Contracts Team Website for further information. 


Trusted Research

Trusted Research is a campaign to raise awareness of the kinds of risks that academics can encounter during their research. The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has created Trusted Research Guidance for Academia (2019) to help UK academics and research organisations understand and manage the potential risks to international research collaboration. 

Trusted Research provides information on important subjects such as personal data, research data, export controls, intellectual property and cyber security.

Trusted Research is particularly relevant to researchers in STEM subjects, dual-use technologies, emerging technologies and commercially sensitive research areas. See the University guidance to ensure that your research activity is fully compliant with the legislation.

Export Controls

The University is operating in an increasingly global capacity, with international research partners, international funding bodies and overseas students all contributing to the vital work we do. An unfortunate consequence of thriving in this vibrant environment is that some of our research and its outputs have the potential to be misused when exported. In order to safeguard ourselves and the work we do, and to mitigate any threats to national security, we must comply with Government legislation and its rules governing the transfer of certain items (tangible and intangible) from the UK: export controls.

Colleagues should follow the guidance provided by the University's Export Control Compliance Team to ensure that appropriate assessments are undertaken to address dual-use and end-user concerns.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is a British government scheme for certifying foreign students and researchers for entry into the United Kingdom to study or conduct research in certain sensitive technology-related fields. Following changes that came into effect on 21 May 2021 ATAS now applies to all researchers including post-doctoral researchers, visiting researchers and academic staff. Researchers coming to the UK as a visitor to the University will need to apply under ATAS before they begin any research subject to ATAS. If the research focus is changed at any time a new ATAS certificate will be required.

The requirement for an ATAS certificate is determined based on four criteria: visa type, nationality, role type and research field. In FBMH, it's important to note that several research fields are relevant to ATAS. There are more research fields picked up for visiting researchers (e.g. biological sciences and medicine) than for PGRs (only two programmes are civered: Cancer Biology & Radiotherapy Physics and Medical Imaging Science). See the full list of research areas that fall into the ATAS requirement.

Research Relationships Oversight Group (RROG)

In addition to the measures put in place to ensure compliance with UK Government regulations the University has established the Research Relationship Oversight Group (RROG), to review and assess the suitability of our research relationships with higher-risk research funders and (more rarely) research partners and collaborators.

The purpose of a RROG review is to provide greater assurance that our research relationships are consistent with our guiding principles, values, mission, and goals, including that of academic freedom, and to ensure that these relationships are unlikely to have a significant negative impact upon the reputation of our University.

Gold List of funders has been agreed for whom RROG approval is not required (regardless of value).

From 31 March 2021, where the funder is not on the Gold List, RROG approval will be required for any individual instance of proposed research funding of:

  • £1m or more
  • £100k or more from Russia* or China* (including the special administrative region Hong Kong)

*Russia and China have been selected because the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has highlighted their legislation which can compel organisations to share communications and/or data with the State.

To request a review, please contact

  • Chris Hepworth, FBMH Business Engagement Manager for industry funders/partners
  • Daniel Jameson, FBMH Research Development Manager for non-industry funders/partners

Staff working abroad

All overseas appointments or arrangements for staff to work abroad require the approval of the relevant Dean of Faculty or Registrar.

For example, if you are considering:

  • recruiting an employee who lives and will continue to live and work abroad for the University,
  • sending an existing employee to be based abroad on an assignment or secondment for six months or more,
  • a request from an employee to work abroad for personal reasons (e.g. to work from home in another country).

Such appointments/arrangements can have significant contractual, financial, tax and pension implications for both the individual and the University. Therefore it is vital that advice, guidance and approval is sought at the planning stage. 

Colleagues must follow the guidance issued by the Directorate of People and Organisational Development.