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Do we need to obtain Ethics Approval for the proposed study? (rather than after the project is approved).

Answer: 

You cannot start any project activity without ethics approval. Ethics approval is not required by the time you submit your proposal (even though you should add any relevant documentation that you already have in place), but is indispensable for the start of activities. If your project is selected for funding and your ethics approvals are not in place yet, you should start the procedure immediately. Once you obtain your ethics approvals, they have to be submitted to the EC.