CHAIR OF RESEARCH ETHICS COMMITTEE CHAIR OF RESEARCH ETHICS COMMITTEE

UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA

RESEARCH AND ENTERPRISE DIVISION

ROLE DESCRIPTION – CHAIR OF RESEARCH ETHICS COMMITTEE

Purpose

To act as a champion for research ethics and governance within the University; to ensure the policies of the University relating to research ethics and governance are upheld and implemented; to ensure research undertaken by staff and students of the University is carried out to the highest ethical standards to protect and safeguard the dignity, rights, safety and wellbeing of all research participants.

Background

The University Research Ethics Committee (U-REC) defines the University’s Policy and operational principles which are applied by Sub-committees of the Research Ethics Committee (S-RECs). U-REC reports to Research Executive and Senate. The U-REC has the authority to monitor the performance of the S-RECs as and when required and, as a minimum, will receive an annual report from each Committee on membership, key activities and findings over the preceding year. U-REC meets one to three times a year depending on business. The Chair will receive support from, and work closely with, the Research and Enterprise Service lead for research ethics and with the PVC (Research and Enterprise).

Responsibilities

The Chair is responsible for leading the effective operation of the Committee and will ensure the following:

1. Periodic review of the terms of reference and membership of the Committee, recommending any changes to Research Executive.

2. Periodic review of the University’s Research Ethics Policy;

3. Regular reporting of issues associated with Research Ethics to the Research Executive, and thereafter to Senate.

4. Identification of best practice and dissemination on Research Ethics across the University, ensuring that there is an appropriate response to relevant strategic developments both within and outside the University.

4. That there is adequate and appropriate research ethics training for REC members, staff and students of the University.

5. That core documentation used by S-RECs for reviewing research proposals is approved.

6. There is appropriate monitoring the activity of S-RECs, and periodic audits of the reviews and decisions of S-RECs. The audit programme will be determined by the requirements of legislation and funders, the risk assessment of individual studies, and concerns raised by adverse event reports or suspicion of research misconduct.

7. That standard processes are in place to ensure that every project which undergoes ethical review will be dealt with fairly and appropriately and that a decision will be reached and recorded, in accordance with the University’s research governance policies and procedures.

8. That an appropriate Deputy Chair is nominated. The Chair will ensure that ongoing support to the person in this role is available, such that they are able to take over the duties of the Chair when required.

9. That U-REC works as a cohesive group, providing guidance to members regarding potential conflicts of interest and any concerns which might lead to their disqualification.

Eligibility: The appointee should be a research active member of UEA staff with a sound knowledge of the principles of research ethics and their application to research.

Appointment: by Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research and Enterprise)

Tenure: 3 years. Re-appointment is permitted.

Application process

Expressions of interest, consisting of a CV and brief statement outlining suitability for the post should be submitted to RED Executive Officer, Kath Mortimer (kath.mortimer@uea.ac.uk, ext1599), by 12 midday on Friday 23rd October 2015.

For an informal discussion about the role please contact the current Chair, Professor Nigel F.J. Norris, School of Education and Lifelong Learning, N.Norris@uea.ac.uk, ext 2620

Informal interviews with Professor Dave Petley (Pro-Vice Chancellor Research and Enterprise), Professor Nigel Norris and Helen Lewis (Director of Research and Enterprise Division) will take place on the morning of Friday 30th October.

Prepared: October 2015