An application for ethics review of a research study is made by the Principal Investigator (PI) for that study. All applications must be in English and submitted through the research compliance online review platform. The IREC secretariat then checks all submitted applications for completeness and correctness. Only complete applications are sent to IREC Members for review.

All proposals should be submitted in the prescribed application form. The purpose of this form is to identify whether research activities require NO (no ethical issues), BRIEF (low sensitivity ethical issues only) or IN-DEPTH (high sensitivity ethical issues) Ethical Review. All relevant documents, as specified in the relevant application form(s), should be enclosed along with the application form.

The average turnaround time from date of the meeting to final approval of a new application is estimated at three (3) to six (6) weeks, and can be more or less, depending on the quality of the application, the nature of the proposed research and the PI’s response time to the IREC’s review.

Proposal review meetings of the IREC are conducted electronically. Members with a conflict of interest will withdraw from review of a proposal. Decisions are taken by consensus after discussions and, when needed, voting is carried out. A minimum of four members is required to make a decision on approval. Discussions and acceptability will be synthesized within one week of the meeting and conveyed to applicants by email. Decisions may be to; approve, reject or revise the proposals. Specific suggestions for modifications and reasons for rejection are given. Applicants may also be invited to a face-to-face meeting to provide further information and/or clarifications. Independent consultants/experts may be invited to offer their opinion on specific applications if considered needed but they are not involved in decision-making. IREC decisions are communicated to the applicants (PIs) through duly signed letters of approval. The approval letters were signed by the IREC Chair and sent to the applicants by the Secretariat.

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