Conducting research within the Council

We check all research requests to ensure

  • excessive demands on staff time are avoided
  • research design and methods are robust and appropriate
  • service user or carer interests and confidentiality are safeguarded.

Download and complete the Research Access Form and email it along with

  • a consent form for potential participants
  • an information sheet for potential participants
  • a list of data items where access to personal data is required
  • an interview schedule or questionnaire to be used in the study


Masters of Social Work students from The University of Edinburgh should contact your supervisor for further details on the process. 

We will review your request and get in touch with you. This process does not apply for internal Council service evaluation projects. 

Download research access quick tips for guidance on a number of areas. 

Planning and Building Standards requests

For research requests relating to Planning and Building Standards, contact the Planning and Building Service. 


Participant involvement

We need to take steps to safeguard service users who are participating in research. If you wish to speak to service users, which include either children or vulnerable adults, we would expect a supervisor to be present at all times. This could be a member of staff or a parent, carer, relative of the service user, and will be agreed as part of the research access proposal. We would also require a basic disclosure.

Where this is not possible you must show proof that you are a member of the PVG scheme for the particular group you wish to interview, a Scheme Membership Statement is applicable. Further information is available in our disclosure guidance document. We will consider your request based on your Research Access Form and your Disclosure Certificate.

Where there is a requirement to access service user records we will require an up to date Basic Disclosure.

Please note you will need approval from both The City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian if you are looking to speak to people receiving an integrated service.

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