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) is commissioned to review research projects involving human participants. It safeguards the rights, dignity and welfare of the individuals volunteering to participate in research studies.

The Committee is an independent body comprising of non-MOD (expert and lay) members and is supported by appropriate MOD advisers. The article Research Involving the Armed Forces (ODT, 76.6 KB) explains how MODREC reviews projects.

Prior to final review by MODREC, scientific and technical rigour is assured through assessment by a Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC).

Guidance documents

MODREC and SACs operates according to Joint Service Publication 536 (JSP536) which is harmonised with guidelines set out by the UK’s Health Research Authority.

Applying for review

You can read our guide about how to apply for SAC and MODREC review here.

Ethics Committee members

Independent Members of MODREC

  • Chair: Dr Simon Kolstoe
  • Vice-Chair: Mrs Julia Cons - Lay Member
  • Vice-Chair: Dr Jim House - Environmental and Occupational Physiologist
  • Vice-Chair: Professor Vassilios Papalois - Reader in Transplantation Surgery
  • Mr Paul Affleck - Lay Member (Healthcare Ethics)
  • Mr Paul Andersen - Lay Member
  • Ms Maria Clark - Lay Member
  • Mr Clive Collett - Lay Member (Medical Ethics and Law)
  • Dr Matthew Davis - Organisational Psychologist
  • Professor Graham Devereux - Professor of Respiratory Medicine
  • Mr James Dodd - Statistician
  • Ms Liz Edgar - Human Factors
  • Mrs Diana Harvey - Lay Member
  • Dr Raymond Johnston - Consultant Occupational Physician
  • Dr Angus McFadyen - Statistician
  • Dr Michael Pegg - Consultant Anaesthetist

Advisory Members of MODREC

Consisting of a group of serving military personnel and MOD Civil Servants:

  • Science and Technology Advisor
  • MOD Military Advisor
  • Military Medical Advisor

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.

Lay Members

At least one third of MODREC members are lay members whose primary personal or professional interest is not in research.


MOD Research Ethics Committee (MODREC)

MODREC Secretariat
Defence Science and TechnologyDstl Portsdown West
PO17 6AD


Tel: 0300 153 5372

Scientific Assessment Committees (for gaining the pre-MODREC scientific review)

Royal Navy Scientific Assessment Committee

Institute of Naval Medicine
Crescent Road, Alverstoke
PO12 2DL



Army Scientific Assessment Committee

Army Headquarters
Blenheim Building, 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

Defence Academy Scientific Assessment Committee

Defence Academy of the United Kingdom