Since its foundation in 2009 the Health Policy and Management and Centre for Global Health Research Ethics Committee (HPM/CGH REC for short) has sought to promote high ethical standards to ensure that the rights, health and welfare of potential research participants are protected and that researchers are guided in conducting ethical research.
The REC was established to ensure that the research carried out on health policy, global health and on finance and delivery of health care is independently reviewed in a fair and consistent manner. The task of the REC is to review protocols to ensure the ethical conduct of research, develop guidelines for human research subject protection, identify ethical principles to guide the conduct of research and to issue proposal forms to guide researchers in preparing their protocols.
The committee accepts submissions from students carrying out research projects for the MSc in Health Services Management, the MSc in Global Health, PhD students in Health Policy, Health Services Research and Global Health, and research led by academic staff in the relevant areas. It will not accept submissions relating to predominantly clinical studies. There are three key features that are common in studies that are the main focus of this committee:
The use of research methods drawn from a range of disciplines and research traditions. Studies on the management and provision of health services and on health policy often draw on a wide range of disciplines and use mixed methods. This may include both quantitative and qualitative methods, and may use insights from sociology, anthropology, economics, political science and statistics as well as from nursing, medicine and other health sciences.
The plans for research evolve over the course of the study. In clinical research it is normal for the full protocol for the study to be specified at the start of the study (although it is not uncommon for some changes to be agreed in the course of the study). In health policy and services research it is common for the plans to evolve over the course of the study, and in some fields of enquiry (such as action research) there is a continuous development of the project. This requires a different approach to the ethical supervision of the research, with agreement to a research strategy and sometimes multiple submissions to cover changing plans and approaches. Some research instruments cannot be prepared in advance (even some consent forms) since the later steps in the research are not specified in the early stages.
The research often involves participation by staff and providers of care. In health services research it is common for the main subjects of the research to be staff and providers rather than users of services. It is common for research to be carried out on colleagues and within the organisation within which the researcher works. This raises important issues in terms of avoiding coercion, in managing confidentiality and in gaining access, that are different from those in research on service users.
The committee follows widely accepted principles in the assessment of research proposals, and also specialises in providing ethical supervision of complex research studies and studies involving staff and providers of care.
Applications for HPM/CGH REC review must be submitted via the college wide REAMS system.
The HPM/CGH holds 2-3 meetings annually.
The schedule for the academic year will be confirmed in October.
If you have an application that you would like to submit outside of the meeting schedule please contact the REC Secretary at Hsmsec@tcd.ie.