AHRECS: Voice for constructive change. We provide access to some of the leading experts in human research ethics in Australia and New Zealand.
We provide expert and high quality consultancy services relating to research integrity, human research ethics, educational integrity and publication ethics for Australia, New Zealand and the wider Asia-Pacific region.
Over the years AHRECS has provided advice on human research ethics and research integrity matters to government departments, institutions, researchers, research ethics reviewers and ethics managers.
In this very practical talk, AHRECS senior consultant, Gary discusses the positive and constructive ways in which a research ethics committee Chair can set the tone of the meeting.
Committees can, and should, have a role beyond the normal operational tasks (e.g. confirmation of the minutes), research ethics review (including the framing of review feedback) and involvement in the institutions approach to professional development for its research community.
The Chair has an essential role in regards to how the committee utilises national and institutional guidance material that frames the conduct reviews and the ethical design/conduct of research projects.
They can usefully also guide the committee towards constructive handling of matters such as conflicts of interest and typographical errors in the material submitted to the committee.
AHRECS has considerable experience in working with research institutions in this area, including mentoring for Chairs and Secretaries, coaching for committees and professional development.
In this incredibly helpful and practical post, Erich von Dietze (a senior consultant at AHRECS) reflects on the considerations, benefits and potential challenges when trying to structure your ethics committee (whether human research or Animal Ethics).
Like many matters in research governance (especially Human Research Ethics and Animal Ethics), there is no simple answer that is always right. Saving time and impediments in one area, can create more and introduce delays in another.
Erich discusses the options and explores the issues that require consideration.
Getting this right can mitigate against unexpected member absences, committee continuity and maintain the expertise and readiness of members.
Acting rashly can cause problems, take time and use up resources.
This item is a recommended read for research office staff, a secretaries, committee chairs and members.
In this great and very helpful post, Gary and Kim (from AHRECS) looks at the benefits of institutions establishing and keeping updated a register of their members.
Such a register could track, when a member was appointed to the committee, when their appointment is up for renewal and the maximum finish date for their appointment. It should also track the dates on which the member has participated in professional development.
Such a register can be a component of good governance with regards to the membership of a research ethics committee.
Maintaining a register of when members have participated in professional development activities can be a great way of reinforcing the expectation that members will regularly participate in professional development. There is of course a reciprocal obligation that institutions regularly conduct internal and fund participation and external professional development activities.
It is good practice for institutions to maintain a public register of the declaration of interest from members. At the very least, such a register should be easily accessible by members of the committee, but it is also recommended that the register be publicly available. Members should be encouraged to at least lodge their interests when they are first appointed and when their membership is renewed.
In this short post AHRECS consultant, Amanda Fernie discusses the animal ethics services that AHRECS now provides and are experienced in, in this complex and important area of research governance.
Amanda is one of the recent additions to the AHRECS team.
She brings considerable experience as someone who has worked as an animal ethics officer and as a manager of a Research Ethics and Research Integrity team.
Even more than is a case for Human Research Ethics, Animal Ethics is an area that cannot be purely approached as a matter of technical regulation where researchers and institutions must comply with relevant laws and ethical codes. This is NOT a useful approach to Animal Ethics. It also unlikely to prompt researchers to approach the topic in a way that it thoughtful, reflective and engaged.
Considering matters such as the sufficiency of environmental enrichment and techniques is not merely a matter of whether a proposed approach complies with the law. It requires a far more thoughtful reflection on animal welfare and respect. What was appropriate 20 years ago is unlikely to be acceptable now.
The AHRECS team brings together considerable experience and insight into international best practice.
Contact us on email@example.com if you would like to discuss how we can assist your institution.
In this post, AHRECS senior consultant, Erich von Dietze, does a review of an incredibly interesting book by Walter Isaacson.
The book, ‘Breaking the Code’ is a very engaging discussion and introduction to genetic research and the labs that work in this field.
The book focuses upon Jennifer Doudna and her collaborators.
The writing style is punchy, direct and it provides an easily digestible introduction to genetics concepts, science and technology.
Amongst the matters discussed is the technology CRISPR.
The author is a professor of history who has written several books including contemporary histories of science and technology.
The book is a recommended read for research Ethics committee members, secretaries and research offices.
It can be especially helpful for lay and other community members, as well as for researchers outside go to outside the genetics field.
We recommend its inclusion in the resource library for your institution’s research ethics committee. It can also be the basis of professional department for committee members.
The Western Australian Human Research Ethics workshop series is back for 2022.
Friday 30 September 2022 – Human Ethics workshop
Interacting across boundaries: applying human research ethics in different situations.
The workshop is being hosted by the Research Office at Notre Dame University, Fremantle, in conjunction with AHRECS (Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services).
8.30am registration, 9.00am start, concluding after lunch.
Notre Dame Campus, Tannock Hall, Fremantle WA
Cost $170.00 per participant
There is an online registration available to persons based outside of Western Australia. On request, a special discount code for Zoom-only registration can be provided – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if this interest you.
In this post, Erich provides an overview of the event, the guest speakers and the components of the workshop.
Register at . On request, a special discount code for Zoom-only registration can be provided – please contact email@example.com if this interest you. The online component is open to registrants outside Western Australia.
AHRECS in Asia
AHRECS in Asia
Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services: Our work in Asia
澳大利亚和新西兰人类研究伦理咨询服务 / 澳大利亞和新西蘭人類研究倫理諮詢服務
Despite our name and our strong connections to Australia and New Zealand, for several years we have been providing advice to institutions in East and South-East Asia. In 2003, Gary Allen helped the Hanoi School of Public Health in Vietnam establish its human research ethics arrangements.
Following a period as an external examiner in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong, Mark Israel advised the Faculty of Law there on research integrity.
Resourcing Reflective Practice
Individually and together we have written a fair amount (see Gary, Mark and Colin‘s profiles for references) about the inherent flaws
of the enforcement and compliance approach. A more constructive, sustainable and positive approach is one that has a resourcing
reflective practice objective. See this short whiteboard video for more about this approach.