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.
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.