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CHREC is the research bioethics and oversight committee of the CMNHS. CHREC reviewers conduct ethical review of research proposals as appropriate and approve the projects that are ethical or reject research projects considered to be unethical. CHREC reviewers assess proposals for the level of risk or exemption from ethical review.

Research considered by RU as High Risk research will be submitted to CHREC and will be registered by the CHREC secretariat. Reviewers from CHREC will review the proposal and make recommendations to improve the ethical conduct of research. When the researcher has done the revision he or she can submit to CHREC secretariat for another review. If the researcher or the CHREC wish to request a meeting to discuss and clarify ethical issues they can make a request to be interviewed in the next CHREC meeting.

The detailed operational process of the research ethics review process is illustrated in the diagram labeled Figure 1.

CHREC FLOWCHART

Figure 1: The Operational Process of Research and Ethical Review Process Flow Chart

The Operational Process of Research and Ethical Review Process Flow Chart begins at the Department Research Committee (DRC) level where students or staff submits a research proposal.

Students Research Proposal: The DRC reviews the proposal and if they are satisfied that it is in accordance with all of the DRC requirements then the DRC committee can approve the proposal with recommendations. The researcher then submits to the Research Unit (RU) as CHREC secretariat where the proposal will be assessed to determine whether it is of High Risk Research, Low Risk Research or a research proposal that can be exempted from Ethics Review.

Low Risk: The proposal is submitted to the Research Unit where allocated reviewers assigned by the CHREC Secretary review the proposal. Target time frame for this review is 2 weeks. Within this time frame, the review result can be given to the researcher. If there are some issues that need revision, it is the responsibility of the researcher and supervisors to revise the proposal and resubmit to RU as soon as possible or before a due date. If the Reviewers are satisfied that all the revisions have been completed, an approval will be granted within the two weeks’ time frame.

High Risk: If the research is considered a High Risk research, then a full College Human Research Ethical Review process will be conducted. A minimum of two month’s turnaround time is required for this process.

Exemption: If the RU Reviewers consider the proposal as satisfying the criteria for an exemption, then an exemption letter will be issued to the researcher.
Staff Research Proposals: The research proposal is submitted to the DRC like the student research proposal. If DRC approves recommendations, then it is submitted to RU for assessment of the recommendation and Risk and will follow the same process illustrated in Figure 1.

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Dean’s Forum: Research Bites

The lunch hour forum:  Pacific Health Research Bites was initiated by the Research Unit to bring researchers from the College together to share “bite-sized” gems of research information. We hope that Researchers will take this opportunity to present their ideas for future collaboration or showcase current research activities. Since research in the Pacific poses unique learning experiences, we also encourage presenters who wish to share these experiences as well and not limit themselves to just the presentation of completed research activities.

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Something About Us

The Research Unit (RU) was established in 1989 with the appointment of Director Research & Academic Development (DRAD) at the Fiji School of Medicine (FSMed) now College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS) under the Fiji National University.  The RU was established under the Office of the Dean (CMNHS) to mainstream research activities into the academic programs and support the academic departments through the implementation of research policies, research governance and administrative mechanisms. 

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  • Vision Mission & Values
  • Function and Structure

Vision

To be the leading institute for ethical, innovative, sustainable and Pacific centric health Research in the region.

Mission

To support a research friendly and research productive environment that fosters sustainable, relevant and quality research in the region.  

Values

Researchers at the College will endeavor to be role models and will strive to abide by the principles of  

  • Respect: Exercise care, diligence, sincerity, confidentiality and being non-judgmental in the course of their research activities.
  • Integrity: Display fairness, honesty, transparency, loyalty, discipline and accountability in their research activities and with their research reports.
  • Passion: Maintain a spirit of inquiry and dedication to improve health through evidence based research and practice.

While it was important to embed research into the learning and teaching activities of CMNHS, it was also important for staff to engage in research activities to build faculty capacity and strengthen research supervision. All research activities were implemented by teaching academics from the Departments of Health Sciences (DHS), Medical Sciences (DMS), Oral Health (DOH), Public Health & Primary Care (DPHPC) and the Research Unit.

As the research activities gained momentum, the number of research staff trained and employed through external grants increased. The Unit set up dedicated Research Centers (RCs) to retain this special cadre and to continue projects in the major areas of Health Systems Research, Non-Communicable Diseases, and Sexual & Reproductive Health.

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