In UCC, research ethics are the responsibility of the University Ethics Committee (UEC). The UEC is a committee of Academic Council and it reports annually both to Academic Council and to Governing Body.
The chair of UEC is Professor Ursula Kilkelly (email@example.com) of the Faculty of Law.
UEC has the following key responsibilities:
Please note that UEC does NOT process individual research proposals for ethical approval. This responsibility currently falls to three Research Ethics Committees. The nature of the research proposal (whether focused on animal research, clinical research or social research) determines the appropriate Committee (see below).
For a full copy of the “Introduction to Research Ethics at UCC” booklet, please CLICK HERE (pdf 536kb). This provides an introduction to the ethics committees which operate in UCC and their reporting structure. A guide is included to help identify the appropriate committee to which applications for ethical approval should be submitted (Page 19).
To access the University's Code of Good Conduct in Research, CLICK HERE.
Which ethics committee should you contact?
Researchers are required to submit research proposals to the Committee most relevant to their research methodology.
If the research project is clinical in nature, then it must be referred to the Research Ethics Committee of the Cork Teaching Hospitals (CREC).
The requirements of CREC are set out in the Committee’s manual which is freely available from the secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org). In broad terms, prior approval is necessary where the research methodology involves:
Non-clinical research which involves human participants comes within the remit of the Social Research Ethics Committee (SREC). Ethical review by SREC is strongly recommended where the methodology is not clinical or therapeutic in nature and proposes to involve:
Please Note: If a research protocol falls into both the jurisdictions of CREC and SREC, then the application will usually be referred to CREC. This is to safeguard the proportionality of clinical risk versus therapeutic benefit.
Please complete the application form (below), and return both by email (to: email@example.com) and in signed hard copy to Fiona O'Shea, Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, 4th Floor, Block E, Food Science Building, University College Road, College Road, Cork, Ireland. A sample informed consent form template is also included below, to assist applicants with formulating an informed consent form appropriate to the applicant's research project. On receipt, the application will be forwarded to the committee for review. SREC aims to respond to candidates within a four week period.
Please Note: SREC's remit pertains to the oversight of staff and post-graduate research. It does not accept undergraduate applications, unless in exceptional circumstances. Undergraduate applications should be processed by the host department. However, SREC will consider undergraduate applications where there is a rationale which precludes the department from assessing these particular applications.
Any research which involves experimentation on animal subjects must be approved by the Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee (AEEC). This is in addition to obtaining the necessary licences for animal experimentation as prescribed by law. If seeking to apply or renew an animal experimentation licence, the researcher must first refer to the AEEC.