Cardiff University Research Ethics Committee (UREC)
The purpose of ethical review is to protect the safety of research subjects and ensure that all research meets the highest academic standards of quality, integrity and ethics. Research ethics committees (REC) have a monitoring and educational role, and aim to help improve the quality of the research as well as provide the researcher with confidence that the proposal has taken into account due regard of all potential risks.
Many research funding bodies, including the Research Councils, now require statements on University research ethics review procedures as part of the research grant application. In light of these developments, Cardiff University established a University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) in 2005, whose mandate it is to develop and sustain a University-wide awareness of ethical issues arising from non-clinical research.
In order to meet this requirement, UREC invited individual Schools to establish, where appropriate, School Research Ethics Committees (SREC). Each SREC is responsible for conducting ethics review of research proposals submitted by researchers in that School.
There is a Chair of UREC and its membership includes three lay members, one of whom is appointed from Council and one member from each of four School Research Ethics Committees.
The University operates a 'two-tier' model for its ethical review procedures whereby UREC has an overarching responsibility to raise awareness; ongoing development of policy and monitoring of School ethical review guidelines. This ensures that all Schools either have in place appropriate procedures for considering and approving the conduct of such research, or provide a written valid explanation as to why such procedures are considered unnecessary for their School. UREC will consider and offer guidance on cases of uncertainty referred to it by a SREC and may, in exceptional cases, hear appeals against a decision by a SREC.