This case concerns a participatory health research project that was submitted for approval to a Research Ethics Committee in Ireland. All researchers wishing to undertake research linked to general medical practice need to submit an application to the Ethics Committee outlining the aims, design and methods, including how people will give consent to participate, how anonymity will be dealt with, potential harm and risk minimised, etc. The case is in two parts. The first part was contributed by a medical academic, based on a time when he chaired the Irish College of General Practitioners Research Ethics Committee. He outlines the Committee’s response to an application for approval for a participatory research project. The second part is a short reflection by a health care academic, who was part of the team that submitted the application.