Developing relationships, engagement and consent
High quality research is only achieved if we work collectively together, showing mutual respect and understanding. All research must be conducted in a respectful manner and where social value is maximised. Some suggested topics to be discussed include:
- Is single ethics review for multi-centred studies working? If not, how can we work together to make it work?
- Working together – consumers and researchers
- Communication between researchers and ethics review bodies
- Increasing communication between universities and health care research institutes
- Factoring Consent – What does consent to participate mean for both researchers and participants? Do participants understand consent? Ethical considerations for research without consent
- Involving and engaging communities in developing ethical research policies and practices
- Working with First Nations peoples
- Understanding cultural considerations internationally
Embracing and increasing knowledge
Quoting Thomas Jefferson in 1816 “Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.” The responsibilities of ethics review bodies and institutions involve challenges with assessing the ethical acceptability and approving of research in the future. How can we learn from each other? Some suggested topics to be discussed include:
- Ideas on education, training and mentoring of HREC members and administrators in a changing time
- Strategies for recruitment and retention of HREC members
- New innovations in ethic review processes
- Learning from each other
- How ethics reviews address the needs of emerging society
- How ethics review and institutional risk management are separated and managed outside of health care organisations
- Ethical considerations in new technologies e.g. social media; chatbots; data mining with Watson; Mechanical Turk; Amazon crowd sourcing; testing of computerised algorithms
Accountability and integrity
The value and benefits of research are vitally dependent on the integrity of research. While there can be and are national and disciplinary differences in the way research is organised and conducted, there are also principles and professional responsibilities that are fundamental to the integrity of research wherever it is undertaken (Singapore Statement on Research Integrity). This session will focus on how research integrity and how ethics review are inextricably linked. How can HRECs and institutions assist with ensuring a positive research integrity environment is maintained? Some suggested prompts for topics to be discussed include:
- What is the role of ethics review bodies in fostering an environment of research integrity, accountability, and public trust?
- Is there a difference between what is legal and what is ethical?
- Processes for managing research breaches and irresponsible research practices, including allegations of misconduct
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the current systems of ethics review?
- How can ethics review bodies and institutions hold researchers to account?
- What is the role of ethics review bodies and institutions to ensure researchers report on research in a responsible and timely fashion?
- How should conflicts of interest be managed?
- What is the role of the HREC in data management monitoring for non-clinical trials?