Joint Research Office


Studies to be assessed before going to RECs in HRA pilot

21 November 2012

The Health Research Authority is running a pilot to see if introducing ethics officers to assess study applications early on can cut timelines and the administrative burden on researchers and committees.

The pilot will take place in two REC (Research Ethics Committee) centres - the North East and the East Midlands. Researchers will be told at the time of booking which RECs are involved in the pilot.

In the pilot, researchers will be asked to email their study documentation to a coordinator. An ethics officer will look at the application and documentation before it goes to a REC meeting for review.

The ethics officer will in particular be looking at the quality of the participation documentation, the quality of the application and areas where the committee may need further clarification.

Researchers can share their application form with an ethics officer who may suggest where more explanation is needed. As part of this service, the researcher will need to agree to be contacted 6 months later to provide an update on the status of the project.

To submit a REC application, or to get early advice from an ethics officer, contact Stephen Tebbutt, HRA Board Secretary and CE Business Manager, at stephen.tebbutt(@)nhs.net.