University research ethics committee member role description

Members of the Central University Research Ethics Committees are responsible for promoting and protecting the interests of participants in research through the review of applications seeking research ethics approval.

The University’s Central Research Ethics Committees receive details and consider the ethical aspects of University research projects involving human participants, human material, or personal data where the degree of ethical risk is flagged as more than minimal, and where they do not fall solely under the remit of another review body. They meet six times per year and comprise both academic and volunteer lay members.

Members seek to ensure that University research projects involving human participants, human material or personal information are carried out in accordance with the research ethics principles specified in the Declaration of Helsinki, the University of Liverpool research ethics policy the ESRC Framework for Research Ethics, and other relevant ethical
guidelines.

Key responsibilities

  • To promote and protect the interests of participants in research
  • To read and review relevant committee meeting papers
  • To take part in the ethical review of applications
  • To lead the review of applications at the Committee
  • To contribute to the development and review of procedures and guidelines
  • To contribute to training in research ethics to the wider academic community
  • To declare any conflicts of interest in applications reviewed by the Committee.

Recognition for the role

The University values the important contribution the role of Central University Research Ethics Committee member makes to University research, promoting ethical research practices and protecting the rights and interests of research participants. The following are provided to support the role of Central University Research Ethics Committee member:

  • Recognition of the contributions which are reflected in progression and workload allocations
  • Recognition through Personal Development Reviews
  • Recognition through Departmental workload management models
  • Notification of forthcoming training events in research ethics
  • Support and guidance from the Committee on Research Ethics Chair and the Research Ethics and Integrity team.

Person specification

The role of Central University Research Ethics Committee member will require a 5% time commitment. The requirements for the role include:

  • Expertise in research activities and knowledge of research ethics
  • A commitment to ensuring the highest standards of research practice
  • A strong personal commitment to protecting the interests of participants who take
    part, or are asked to take part in University research.

Appropriate training in research ethics will be provided.

Term of appointment

The term of appointment for a Central University Research Ethics Committee member is three years, (renewable up to three times).

Appointment process

Central University Research Ethics Committee members may be selected and appointed using nominations or responses to advert. The appointment process would be supported by the Research Ethics and Integrity team.

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