Multicentre research may include a research project:
- conducted at more than one institution, either by the same or different researchers;
- conducted jointly by researchers affiliated with different institutions;
- conducted at one institution by a researcher affiliated with another institution, e.g. a university-based researcher conducting research at a hospital;
- approved at one institution and transferred to another, for example, when a researcher changes institutions; and
- for which more than one institution has responsibility for ethical review and approval.
The National Statement indicates that where more than one institution has responsibility for the ethical review of a project, each institution should adopt a review process that eliminates any unnecessary duplication of ethical review. This can include the institutions agreeing on a single review body to review the research.
Further information from the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research can be found at the following link: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/2007_humans/section5.3.htm
The ECU Ethics Committee has the following process for multicentre research projects (in order to minimise unnecessary duplication of ethical review):
ECU Ethics Committee is the primary review committee
- An ECU application would need to be submitted for review and approval via STREAM in the usual way.
ECU Ethics Committee is not the primary review committee
- There is NO requirement to complete an STREAM application.
- An ethics application should be initially reviewed and approved by the primary review committee.
- Send a copy of the following to the Research Ethics Office:
- Ethics application submitted to the other institution
- Supporting documents (e.g. research proposal, information letter/consent form, data collection instruments)
- Final approval notification (letter or email) from the other institution
- The ECU Ethics Committee will then review the application briefly, assess any implications for ECU, determine monitoring conditions and provide feedback and/or approval.
- usually for STAFF research projects
The Ethics Committee is aware that researchers sometimes need to seek approval for a development phase of the research in order to develop or finalise data collection procedures for research projects.
Executive approval for the development phase of the project only can be granted by the Ethics Committee. This approval is for 6 months only, and the process usually takes about a week. Researchers need to submit the research proposal/concept paper outlining the project.
Conditions of executive approval are as follows.
- No recruitment of participants (or use of animals) or data collection can occur before full approval has been granted by the ethics committee.
Executive approval will lock the application in STREAM, i.e. researchers will not be able to access the project to edit it. Researchers need contact the Research Ethics Office when they need to work on the application. The application will then be unlocked to allow editing.
Once plans for the data collection has been finalised, researchers need to submit the full ethics application via STREAM. The full application (and supporting documents) will be reviewed by the Ethics Committee. Researchers should allow approximately four weeks for review of the full application by the committee.