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

  • Chairman: Dr Simon Kolstoe
  • Vice-Chairman: Professor David Jones - Bioethicist
  • Mr Paul Affleck - Lay member (Healthcare ethics)
  • Mr Paul Andersen - 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 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
  • Dr Jim House - Environmental and Occupational Physiologist

Advisory Members of MODREC

  • Dr Gareth Conway - Science and Technology Adviser
  • Capt Matt Harvey (RN) - MOD Military Adviser
  • Col Rob Russell - 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.

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 Technology
Dstl Portsdown West
PO17 6AD


DST-MODREC Chief Secretary: Dr Piete Brown PhD MSc PGCE BSc Tel: 0300 153 5372

MODREC Deputy Secretary

Defence Science and Technology
Dstl Portsdown West
PO17 6AD


Heidi McKeand 0300 1624542

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

Royal Navy Scientific Assessment Committee

Institute of Naval MedicineCrescent RoadAlverstoke
PO12 2DL

Chair: Currently gapped. Enquiries and applications should be sent to: Dr Graeme Nicholson. Tel: 02392 768115. Skype: 0300 156 4562. Email:

Vice-Chair: Dr Adrian Allsopp, Head of Environmental Medicine, INM 023927 68066, email -

Army Scientific Assessment Committee

Army Scientific Assessment Committee
Blenheim Building
Marlborough Lines
SP11 8HT


Co-Chair: Prof Julie Greeves OBE 0300 157 9149

Co-Chair: Dr Andy Roberts 0300 165 5429

Co-Secretary: Miss Rebecca Double 0300 155 9516

Royal Air Force Scientific Assessment Committee

RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine
RAF Henlow
SG16 6DN


Chair: Mr Peter Tait FRAeS n/a

Vice-Chair: Dr Alistair Macmillan BSc MBChB FFOM n/a

Secretary: AE Research Officer 01462 851515 ext 8054

Secretary: Physiotherapy Research Officer 01462 851515 ext 6460

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Scientific Advisory Committee

Defence Science Technology Laboratory
Porton Down


Chair: Dr Vibha Patel 01980 951093. Email -

Secretary: Liam Elliott 01980 956639

Defence Academy Scientific Assessment Committee

Centre for Defence Education Research and Analysis (CDERA)
Slim Building
Defence Academy of the United Kingdom