Setting the right tone
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.
Is having alternate/reserve members a helpful practice?
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.
An argument for registers for research ethics committee 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.
The Code Breaker book review
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.
2022 HREC Workshops
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.
If you build it, they will come- 2020 Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) Training Conference (online) 18-20 Nov
Approximately 2.5 months from inception to execution, a veritable cornucopia of Australia’s thought leaders on topics such as consent, voluntary
Working flexibly through the Coronavirus: Continuing professional development in research integrity or human research ethics?
Research ethics and research integrity professional development works best as a long-term commitment to building the capacity of the current
Fighting Fiction with Fiction: A novel approach to engaging the public in bioethics of medical research
Cathal O’Connell Centre Manager, BioFab3D, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. About the laboratory discussed in this post (Video credit: Benjamin Sheen)
Going video: A chance to change review practice?
In this post, Gary asks when it comes to research ethics review, whether something useful might come from social distancing
Do we need consent for the continued use of children’s biological samples and data in research – and what if the grown up children cannot be located?
Parental consent is sufficient to authorize research involving infants and young children who do
We would all benefit from more research integrity research
Paul M Taylor1 and Daniel P Barr2 1Director, Research Integrity, Governance and Systems Research
The F-word, or how to fight fires in the research literature
Professor Jennifer Byrne | University of Sydney Medical School and Children’s Hospital at Westmead