Safety, Fieldwork and Ethics

Before leaving the Department for fieldwork, there are a number of procedures that must be followed in order for your research and your travel to comply with University of Oxford policies. The School's Statement of Safety Organisation may be consulted here.


Fieldwork is defined as any practical teaching or research activity performed in places outside the control of the University, but where the School retains responsibility for the safety of the employee/student.

Background information and useful links.


Staff travel is defined as any travel on University business; i.e. travel also eligible to be covered by University insurance.

The full Code of Practice in Safety and Overseas Travel is available here and must be read before forms are completed.

Two forms must be considered before fieldwork or business travel, even if travel insurance is not required: The Travel Evaluation Form and the Full Risk Assessment. We strongly advise you to obtain University insurance: travel insurance application form. Full details of the University insurance cover can be found on the University website. If your fieldwork is taking place in the UK, please fill in the UK Travel Evaluation Form.

All completed travel-related forms should be returned to Neil Clarke at 51 Banbury Road at least 6 weeks before departure. If you have any questions, please contact Neil:

Important, and in addition to University insurance: obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for travel in European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland. This will cover you for emergency medical treatment only. You can apply for this on line here at the NHS website

Ethics (CURECs)

All students and staff must complete a CUREC form before leaving for fieldwork. 

Guidance on ethics clearance procedures for staff and students in the School of Anthropology can be found here. Please read it first.

The ESRC Framework for research ethics contains a number of case studies that students and staff in the School might find helpful when thinking through ethical issues in their own research.

CUREC approved protocols best practice guidance forms are available here. Please use the CUREC 1A form (downloadable here) and fill it in electronically, and not by hand.

Electronic versions of completed CUREC forms must be emailed to Kate Atherton at accompanied by an email of support from your supervisor (supervisor signatures are not required). Any questions should also be directed to Kate.

Health and Safety Training courses

A number of Health and Safety training courses are available, which research students are encouraged to go on before conducting fieldwork. Further information and links for the courses can be consulted here.

University Health and Welfare pages.

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