Provision of advice to the UK Health Departments’ Research Ethics Service
The Research Ethics Service (RES) is a core function of the Health Research Authority and is committed to enabling and supporting ethical research in the NHS. We work with our colleagues in the devolved administrations to provide a UK-wide service. Research Ethics Committees (RECs) protect the rights, safety, dignity and wellbeing of research participants. We have a duty to provide an efficient and robust ethics review service which maximises UK competitiveness for health research, whilst protecting participants and researchers.
Our RECs review a wide range of health research applications. On occasion, the Committees request expert advice from a specialist referee on a particular issue prior to confirming the ethical opinion for the research. We are currently looking to expand our database of individuals who would be willing to be contacted to offer expert advice. A written request for advice detailing the nature of the concerns raised would be made from the REC Chair or REC Manager of the relevant Committee. I would be most grateful if you could also forward this request to your members/colleagues. It is not envisaged that this would be an onerous task with only a small number required each year.
If anyone would be willing to be added to our database of specialist referees, I would be grateful if they could please contact Charlotte Allen, RES Project & Support Manager, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org include details of the areas/sub-specialties for which they would be willing to provide advice.
We are always recruiting new members to the REC and are particularly seeking to recruit medical and dental staff including those who may have retired. If anyone is interested in applying to join a Research Ethics Committee as a volunteer member, please download an application pack from the HRA website: http://www.hra.nhs.uk/research-ethics-committee-members/rec-membership/
The minimum requirement is to attend around six meetings per year.
Thank you for your interest in supporting the work of the Health Research Authority and Research Ethics Service.