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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if this interest you. The online component is open to registrants outside Western Australia.
In Australia or another country outside of Africa, would institution link to material about Ubuntu ethics? Especially if the institution isn’t doing a great deal of research in Africa.
In this post, Gary reflects on the argument that material should be included in an institution’s Human Research Ethics resource library, even if doing so, won’t be necessary to archive compliance with the national ethics guidelines/standards/regulations. In fact, he argues that precisely because it is not required, they should be included.
Gary refers to a podcast and a journal article that have recently been included in the AHRECS resource library, as examples of material that should be included in institutional resource libraries.
The point here is that material should be included if it would support excellent ethical conduct, irrespective of whether it would help demonstrate that the institution complies with the national standards – such as the National Statement in Australia.
During 2021 and 2022, AHRECS has been compiling an animal ethics team and we were thrilled when Dr Amanda Fernie joined our team. She is both an experienced researcher, a very experienced animal ethics officer and a former manager of a research and research integrity team at a large Australian university.
In this post, she discusses the animal ethics services AHRECS now provides, as well as the support we have been providing and the contribution we are making in the animal ethics sphere.
This is an excellent discussion of the range of services that AHRECS provides
For example, AHRECS has considerable experience in the design and delivery of professional development in the animal ethics space.
If you are interested in engaging AHRECS for us to assist with your institution’s animal ethics needs, send an email to email@example.com or alternatively you can contact Erich Von Dietze on firstname.lastname@example.org. Erich is the senior consultant who is leading our experienced animal ethics team.
In this post, Michael Creevey (the CEO of Endpoint IQ) discusses the effective and constructive use of research management systems, including research ethics modules.
He discusses how a system can be used to resource and support a positive research culture within an institution.
Effective systems should provide the tools so users and their stakeholders can operate a constructive and value adding set of research governance arrangements (including Human Research Ethics, Animal Ethics and the related processes).
Michael discusses the origins of Endpoint IQ and how it was informed by the perspectives, needs and aspirations of research managers and researchers in Australia.
AHRECS is very conscious of the degree to which we have a conflict of interest in this space, but we think the Endpoint IQ system is excellent and is worth a serious look. We have an ongoing good relationship with Michael and the Endpoint IQ team, we have also partnered with them in bids in New Zealand. We also have a small financial connection to them. This conflict notwithstanding, we encourage research institutions to have a serious look at this system.
Even though Endpoint IQ is an excellent system, there are a number of other research management systems that are commendable and can perform similar (but not identical) functions to those of Endpoint IQ.
In her latest thought-provoking post Stephanie Taplin reflects on social research with children/young adults and the impact of offering them incentives in the form of payments.
These matters have been controversial for research ethics committee and resulted in a block of items in the review feedback from the reviewing committee/s.
Despite the authority provided by the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (NHMRC, 2007, updated 2018) HRECs can be nervous about approving such research with incentives.
Despite this difficulty for reviewers, incentives in the form of payments definitely increases the chances that a young person will respond to a recruitment strategy.
Stephanie’s work has highlighted the degree to which a review body may be more comfortable with the offer of a chance to win and an incentive in a prize draw, at values over ten times as high as the direct incentive payment.
Another area of tension between the preferences of review body and young people is the difference between face-to-face interviews and anonymous questionnaires.
In this post Stephanie reflects on why researchers should engage with HRECs on these matters, rather than choose a path most likely to be accepted immediately by a committee.
We’ve been anticipating the launch of the Retraction Watch database because we’re often asked by HDR candidates
Gary Allen, Carolyn Ehrlich, Michael Norwood, Delena Amsters and Maddy Slattery’s post reflecting on great engagements with disability reference groups.
Here, we aim to share insights from a group of Griffith University researchers and a consumer reference group, who worked together on a research project during the development of materials and methods, as well as in the dissemination of research outcomes. The research project we conducted aimed to explore the research experience of people with acquired disability. We wanted to understand what researchers could do better to be more inclusive of people who are often described as vulnerable or marginalised by the National Statement and subsequently Human Research Ethics Committees. We wanted to know how to best include them as participants in, rather than subjects of, research.
This is not a post advocating for the use of reference groups for research involving those with disability and chronic health conditions. Calls for respectful inclusion have already been eloquently made…
We are thrilled to kick off the AHRECS blog together with our first go
Pieper, I. & Thomson, C.J.H. (2016) Beneficence as a Principle in Human Research. Monash