The Ateneo De Naga University-Graduate School (ADNU-GS), in coordination with the University’s Institutional Research Ethics Committee (IREC), conducted an ‘Orientation on Ethics Review of Research’ on October 30, 2021, from 9:30 to 11:00 in the morning. There were 138 participants who are Thesis/Dissertation Advisers and Graduate School students enrolled in Research Methods classes who attended the online session.
IREC Chair, Dr. Marlyn L. Tejada was the Speaker during the virtual orientation. She had an extensive and substantial discussion on the procedure of the research ethics review by the IREC for all the research papers of the Graduate students.
It was explained that an ethics review is needed for the researcher to respect and protect the rights of participants in the study, clarify the responsibilities of both the researchers and human participants, promote the responsible care and use of animals in research, be mindful of the protection of the environment, and follow relevant government regulations in the conduct of research.
Further, the types of ethics review were thoroughly discussed, and the participants or subjects for “low-risk” and “more-than-low-risk” projects and the research methods were identified. The detailed procedure and process flow, including the relevant forms for submission to IREC or research protocol, and the review role of the research adviser were presented. Also discussed were the withdrawal of ethics approval, site monitoring visit, and appeals on IREC decision.
Likewise, Dr. Tejada disclosed that ADNU IREC had already undergone accreditation by the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB), the national policy-making body in health research ethics in the country, which ensures adherence to the universal ethical principles for the protection and promotion of the dignity of health research participants. ADNU-IREC is now awaiting the result of the PHREB accreditation.
To further enhance the rules and keep abreast with the changing times, Dr. Malu C. Barcillano, Dean of the ADNU GS, clarified and stressed that they are now in the process of updating the Guidelines on Thesis/Dissertation Defense.
A lively and well-participated Question and Answer (Q & A) portion followed after the talk. Likewise, a virtual photo-ops session followed the Q & A with all the smiles and messages of thanks from the enlightened participants.
The webinar session, which started with a Prayer on Generosity, had Dr. Ma. Filipinas Bana as the facilitator.
The seven-member IREC, an independent unit from the University Research Council, reports to the Dean for Research and Creative Endeavors (RaCE), who directly reports to the ADNU President. IREC was created to ensure that ADNU’s three-fold mission of attaining excellence in teaching, research, and community service is grounded on ethical principles. Research projects proposed by the university administrators, faculty, staff, and students should undergo a thorough review. Also, researchers should safeguard the welfare of humans, animals, and the environment by abiding by the principles and guidelines of the ADNU Code of Ethics for Research (2016).
IREC’s functions include drafting of institutional policies on review procedures, management of post-approval submissions, documentation of the committee’s actions, site visits, and management of queries or complaints; classifying and reviewing submitted research proposals of administrators, faculty, staff, and student researches considered to be low-risk; ensuring that research conducted in the University complies with existing ethical standards and requirements; promoting awareness of research ethics among members of the University community; and approve ethically acceptable research undertakings, as well as propose modifications, reject or stop those deemed otherwise.
By: Jogar B. Tosoc, CESE