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UCC Ethics Committee

General Purpose: The University Ethics Committee (UEC) promotes ethical approaches to research, teaching and other related institutional activities across UCC, and develops ethics governance, policy and strategy in these areas. The UEC advises Departments/Schools and Colleges on good practice in ethics and monitors and oversees relevant activities from an ethical perspective within the University. The Committee networks with professional bodies and other university ethics structures in Ireland and internationally in order to ensure that best practices, codes and structures are in place at UCC.

 The Committee shall consult with relevant University Officers as appropriate in relation to specific items and issues of potential significant impact to the University (particularly in relation to resources). 

Reports to: Academic Council

Terms of Reference:

1. Strategy and Policy

To bring forward for consideration by Academic Council:

a) Policy and procedures governing ethics in research and research conduct;
b) Proposals for the development of UCC’s ethics governance framework ensuring alignment with professional and statutory obligations;
c) Recommendations to ensure the effective operation of ethics governance structures at UCC;
d) Proposals to ensure institutional oversight of the University’s responsibilities relating to ethical conduct in research, teaching and related institutional activities;

2. Executive Functions

a) To grant ethical approval on behalf of UCC, or to delegate the granting of such approval;
b) To establish and oversee ethics sub-committees;
c) To co-ordinate training and raise awareness of ethics and good research conduct among staff and students.

3. Oversight Function

a) To grant ethical approval on behalf of UCC, or to delegate the granting of such approval;
b) To establish and oversee ethics sub-committees;
c) To co-ordinate training and raise awareness of ethics and good research conduct among staff and students.

4. Other business as required

UEC will

a) Report to Academic Council annually with additional reporting on specific matters as requested;
b) Advise Academic Council on such matters that Academic Council may refer to UEC from time to time;
c) Report to Governing Body annually.

Delegation of Authority

The UEC retains the overall responsibilities defined in its terms of reference as approved by Academic Council. The Committee will establish sub-committees to enable it to fulfil its remit.  The UEC may also establish working groups from time to time to assist in its work. The UEC, its sub-committees and working groups shall operate in accordance with the procedures set down in the Academic Council Committee Handbook.

The UEC has the following Sub Committees:

  • Social Research Ethics Committee (SREC) Sub-committee
  • Animal Experimentation Ethical Sub Committee (AEEC)
  • Clinical Research Ethics Sub-committee (CREC)

Frequency of Meetings

The Committee shall meet four times per year or as directed by Academic Council.


Appointed by the President

Professor Ciara Heavin


Ex Officio: 


Vice President for Research and Innovation, or nominee

Professor John Cryan


Dean of Graduate Studies

Professor Ruth Ramsay

Chair, Academic Council Research and Innovation Committee, or nominee

To be announced


Vice President for Learning and Teaching, or nominee 

Professor Paul McSweeney 

Internal member of Governing Body

Dr Angela Flynn

Chair or nominee of each of the sub-committees charged with granting ethical approval in particular areas of activity 


Professor Christian Waeber


Professor David Kerins


Dr Claire O'Neill

Two staff members nominated by each College (to include one representative from the College’s ethical approval committee/with functional responsibility in the area of research ethics)


Dr Orla O'Donovan
Dr Katharina Swirak


Professor Thomas Garavan
Professor Conor O’Mahony


Dr Colm O’Tuathaigh
Dr Elaine Lehane


Professor Emer Rogan
Professor Cora O’Neill

Co-opted members
Up to 3 members approved by Academic Council


Dr Louise Burgoyne


Mr James Cronin


Dr Irene Kavanagh

Committee Secretary

Ms Liz Hales

Membership updated 10-11-2021

Approved by Academic Council 23rd March 2012
Amended by Academic Council 19th January 2018


Academic Affairs and Governance

Gnothaí Acadúla agus Rialú