The Office of Research Ethics (ORE) would like to implement a model of policy and procedure development which fully involves and engages researchers and other stakeholders across the institution. The Research Ethics and Integrity Advisory Committee (REIAC) was launched in July 2014 to fulfil this objective
A key responsibility of the REIAC will be to identify emerging lines of research in each of the faculty areas. By identifying new lines of research, it is hoped the ORE and UWaterloo can better anticipate and investigate the ethical implications associated with these types of research well before the ORE receives an application. As well, this anticipatory approach will likely speed up turn-around times for researchers since the ORE/Research Ethics Committees will not be required to react to problems and new compliance requirements. When the ORE/Research Ethics Committees operate(s) in a reactive mode, delays can occur for researchers since guideline or policy development often needs to occur before final approval can be provided. REIAC members will also play a hands-on and active role in the development of new guidelines and policies to support research in their faculties. By involving faculty more actively in guideline development, the ORE may discover ways to meet compliance obligations using more effective and efficient processes.
In addition to offering advice on emerging lines of research, this advisory committee would serve as a researcher sounding board as we move forward and start to design a new ethics administration system. The ORE would utilize feedback from this group to better understand how to make the new ethics administration system more researcher-friendly and to ensure that the process flow built into the new design is intuitive to researchers.
Finally, the members will be asked to offer recommendations on how the ORE can better disseminate and publicize compliance requirements. REIAC members may be asked to offer a researcher perspective on the utility of existing or planned outreach and training supports.
For more information or to provide suggestions to REIAC contact:
Dr. Lyndon Jones, REIAC Chair
Heather Root, Senior Manager, Research Ethics