Thus the role of the Unit is to provide research support & research bioethics governance services, finance and administrative support to research staff and students of CMNHS. A new role is being developed in the RU is in medical professionalism and bioethics training for students of CMNHS.
The academic support includes individual consultation or group workshops and continuous professional development in all areas of research supervision, proposal writing, all aspects related to research data and analyses, research ethics and research project management.
The administrative support has consisted of the unit evolving with local research environment to draft internationally modeled but locally relevant policies and procedures to support research Governance as well as Research financial administration and oversight.
Historically, the staff of the Unit has had a combination of academics with backgrounds in health, teaching and research and administrative support staff. They have played critical roles in shaping the structures and process that currently support research and while there is always room for improvement, it would be remiss not to acknowledge the tremendous effort that has gone into articulating the research support functions at both the College of Medicine and the Fiji Ministry of Health Research Secretariat.
It was felt that research support will only be progressive and meaningful if people from these backgrounds were to implement processes and activities based on experience and the knowledge gained from their own “lessons learnt”.
In order to consolidate research activities and maintain a central hub for research governance, the CMNHS health Research & Ethics Committee (CHREC) was formed. The functions of this committee were further devolved to the Departmental level to form Departmental Research Committees (DRCs) and enable further capacity building of supervisors and researchers.
All research activities at the college are summarily presented to the College Executive Management Committee (EMC) which comprises the Dean and heads of Departments.