The recently established National Office for Research Ethics Committees (NREC) is tasked to secure a diverse and committed membership to ensure that national ethics decisions are informed by the range of skills, experience, interests and backgrounds reflective of Irish society. In this regard, the National Office is now seeking Expressions of Interest for NREC membership.
The National Office welcomes Expressions of Interest under this call until 11th January 2021 and information on the call can be found on the NREC office website
The mission of the National Office is to embed a robust, transparent and cohesive research ethics review system that strengthens the national research infrastructure. This will involve establishing and operationally supporting National Research Ethics Committees (NRECs) in health research areas of national strategic importance, the initial priorities being for Clinical Trials of Medicinal Products and Clinical Investigations of Medical Devices. Appointed by the Minister for Health, the NREC mandate within the confines of their remits will be to return research ethics decisions that are applicable nationally (‘single national ethics opinion’). In this way, NRECs will work alongside local RECs in a ‘mixed-model system’ to ensure that Irish health research is underpinned by the highest standards of ethics review and process efficiency. A cohesive research ethics infrastructure will support timely access to innovative medicines and services for Irish patients and the public, and enhance Ireland’s appeal as a place to conduct forefront health research. Moreover, the anticipated timing of Ministerial appointment of the NRECs in 2021 will help ensure that Ireland meets its Member State obligations in relation to imminent EU Regulations in the areas of clinical trials (EU No 536/2014) and medical devices (EU No 2017/745).