Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee

The Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee (MODREC) ensures that all research involving human participants either undertaken, funded or sponsored by MOD meets nationally and internationally accepted ethical standards.


The Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee (MODREC) was commissioned to review, advise and approve human research applications. It safeguards the rights, dignity and welfare of the individuals volunteering to participate in individual research studies.

The Committee is an independent body comprising of non-MOD (expert and lay) members and is supported by appropriate MOD advisers. The Committee operates according to guidelines set out by the UK’s Health Research Authority.

Prior to final review and approval by MODREC, scientific and technical rigour is assured through assessment by the appropriate Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), which is an integral part of the ethical review process.

Guidance documents

The instructions for the ethical conduct and treatment of human participants in MOD research (JSP536) sets out the conditions for all investigators conducting research involving human participants in MOD research and the process for assessing and approving research applications.

Applying for review

You can read our guide about how to apply for ethics approval.

Ethics Committee members

Independent Members of MODREC

  • Chairman: Dr Simon Kolstoe
  • Vice-Chairman: Professor David Jones - Bioethicist
  • Mr Paul Affleck - Lay member (Healthcare ethics)
  • Mr Paul Andersen - Lay member
  • Mr Gordon Coleman JP - Lay member
  • Mr Clive Collett - Lay member (Medical ethics and law)
  • Mrs Julia Cons - Lay member
  • Dr Matthew Davis - Organisational Psychologist
  • Professor Graham Devereux - Professor of Respiratory Medicine
  • Professor Chris Fry - Professor of Physiology
  • Mrs Diana Harvey - Lay member
  • Dr Jim House - Reader in Environmental Physiology
  • Dr Raymond Johnston - Consultant Occupational Physician
  • Dr Angus McFadyen - Statistician
  • Professor Vassilios Papalois - Reader in Transplantation Surgery
  • Dr Michael Pegg - Consultant Anesthetist
  • Dr Ian White - Consultant Dermatologist

Advisory Members of MODREC

  • Dr Paul Rice - Science and Technology Adviser
  • Capt Paul Porter (RN) - MOD Military Adviser
  • Surg Capt Graeme Nicholson - Military Medical Adviser

About our members

MODREC has a mixture of expert and lay members and is supported by the MODREC Secretariat. MOD administers the Secretariat and also appoints advisory members to the Committee. These are MOD members of staff who are appointed to provide advice to the Committee on internal MOD policy. The voting members of the Committee are independent of MOD.

The Appointing Authority, with the support of the Chair of MODREC, make appointments to MODREC. Members are appointed in their own right, to participate in the work of MODREC as equal individuals of sound judgement and relevant experience.

Expert Members

Expert committee members are chosen to ensure that MODREC has:

  • relevant methodological and ethical expertise in applied physiological and psychological research, clinical research, non-clinical research, qualitative or other research methods applicable to human sciences, including medicine and the social sciences
  • relevant clinical practice
  • knowledge and experience of experimental design
  • knowledge and experience of statistics relevant to research

Should the MODREC Chair consider additional expertise is required, subject matter experts can be drafted to MODREC as required.

Lay Members

At least one third of MODREC members are lay members, who should not be employees of MOD and whose primary personal or professional interest is not in biomedical research.


MOD Research and Ethics Committee (MODREC)

MODREC Secretariat
Bldg 005, G02
Dstl Porton Down


Use for research project enquiries, approvals and appeals

Royal Navy Scientific Assessment Committee

Institute of Naval Medicine
Crescent Road

PO12 2DL

Army Scientific Assessment Committee

Army Scientific Assessment Committee
Blenheim Building
Floor 1, Zone 1 (IDL 27)
Marlborough Lines

SP11 8HT

Royal Air Force Scientific Assessment Committee

RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine
RAF Henlow
SG16 6DN

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Scientific Advisory Committee

Defence Science Technology Laboratory
Porton Down