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E T H I C S @ B AT H
Dr Filipa Vance
Head of Research Governance and Compliance
University of Bath, UK
Enriching
engagement with
ethics review
processes
E T H I C S @ B AT H
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CHANGE
E T H I C S @ B AT H
SOLUTION
Improved flow,
decision-making &
record keeping
Streamlined, good
user & stakeholder
experience
Streamlined,
effective,
transparent &
future-ready
BENEFITS
PROBLEMS
Disengagement
poor ethics literacy
Negative feedback
poor comparative
experience
Inefficient, slow,
opaque limited
future needs
New governance
New process
New digital system
New team
E T H I C S @ B AT H
What changed?
New University wide inter-disciplinary Research Ethics
Committees (RECs)
New digital system and coordination of ethics review
processes
New central team to provide guidance, training, advice on
policies, processes and strategy
Opportunities for improved ethics literacy: guidance, portal,
open house, ownership of the system
Anticipation of and response to new challenges:
AI, social media, geo-politics, etc
E T H I C S @ B AT H
What stayed the same?
The requirement to uphold the highest standards of research
integrity for all research STAFF and STUDENTS
The requirement to seek Committee-level review for any
application involving humans, their data/tissue or animals
Compliance with external regulatory frameworks
E T H I C S @ B AT H
Academic Ethics & Integrity Committee
5x Research Ethics Committees & Chairs
Departmental Research Ethics Officer
Research Governance and Compliance Team
E T H I C S @ B AT H
Ethics system
fully customisable
smart forms
comments/ guidance (literacy)
Practices
monitoring and evaluation
ethics newsletter
Policies
in-system data (risk and new
developments)
E T H I C S @ B AT H
Advice
in-system comments
reviewer feedback
Guidance
ethics portal
website materials
Training
open houses,
inductions/on-request
E T H I C S @ B AT H
Assurance
monitoring and audit
Compliance
in-system data
Research integrity
Nagoya Protocol
export control
climate implications
trusted research
E T H I C S @ B AT H
Biomedical
Human
participation
(excl NHS)
Social
Sciences
Human
participation
Remit of Research Ethics Committees
Animal
Licensable and
non-licensable
E T H I C S @ B AT H
External &
Sponsorship
Review from
somewhere else
NHS, MoD (where UoB
is a sponsor)
Data & Digital
Social media
Large data
AI,machine learning
etc
Remit of Research Ethics Committees
E T H I C S @ B AT H
BENEFITS OF NEW SYSTEM
• Smart forms
• Able to track
status
• Able to access
information
• Prompts and
checklists
• Increased
efficiency -
saves time
• One file
• Can make
comments on
applications
• Record of
applications
reviewed
• Increased
efficiency -
saves time
• Robust system
compliance
• Better standards
• Research culture
• Addressing gaps
• Demonstration of
commitment
• Evaluation/monitoring
• Better use of staff time
E T H I C S @ B AT H
fb594@bath.ac.uk
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING
f.vance@bath.ac.uk
j.c.barnett@bath.ac.uk

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Enriching engagement with ethical review processes

  • 1. E T H I C S @ B AT H Dr Filipa Vance Head of Research Governance and Compliance University of Bath, UK Enriching engagement with ethics review processes
  • 2. E T H I C S @ B AT H AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CHANGE
  • 3. E T H I C S @ B AT H SOLUTION Improved flow, decision-making & record keeping Streamlined, good user & stakeholder experience Streamlined, effective, transparent & future-ready BENEFITS PROBLEMS Disengagement poor ethics literacy Negative feedback poor comparative experience Inefficient, slow, opaque limited future needs New governance New process New digital system New team
  • 4. E T H I C S @ B AT H What changed? New University wide inter-disciplinary Research Ethics Committees (RECs) New digital system and coordination of ethics review processes New central team to provide guidance, training, advice on policies, processes and strategy Opportunities for improved ethics literacy: guidance, portal, open house, ownership of the system Anticipation of and response to new challenges: AI, social media, geo-politics, etc
  • 5. E T H I C S @ B AT H What stayed the same? The requirement to uphold the highest standards of research integrity for all research STAFF and STUDENTS The requirement to seek Committee-level review for any application involving humans, their data/tissue or animals Compliance with external regulatory frameworks
  • 6. E T H I C S @ B AT H Academic Ethics & Integrity Committee 5x Research Ethics Committees & Chairs Departmental Research Ethics Officer Research Governance and Compliance Team
  • 7. E T H I C S @ B AT H Ethics system fully customisable smart forms comments/ guidance (literacy) Practices monitoring and evaluation ethics newsletter Policies in-system data (risk and new developments)
  • 8. E T H I C S @ B AT H Advice in-system comments reviewer feedback Guidance ethics portal website materials Training open houses, inductions/on-request
  • 9. E T H I C S @ B AT H Assurance monitoring and audit Compliance in-system data Research integrity Nagoya Protocol export control climate implications trusted research
  • 10. E T H I C S @ B AT H Biomedical Human participation (excl NHS) Social Sciences Human participation Remit of Research Ethics Committees Animal Licensable and non-licensable
  • 11. E T H I C S @ B AT H External & Sponsorship Review from somewhere else NHS, MoD (where UoB is a sponsor) Data & Digital Social media Large data AI,machine learning etc Remit of Research Ethics Committees
  • 12. E T H I C S @ B AT H BENEFITS OF NEW SYSTEM • Smart forms • Able to track status • Able to access information • Prompts and checklists • Increased efficiency - saves time • One file • Can make comments on applications • Record of applications reviewed • Increased efficiency - saves time • Robust system compliance • Better standards • Research culture • Addressing gaps • Demonstration of commitment • Evaluation/monitoring • Better use of staff time
  • 13. E T H I C S @ B AT H fb594@bath.ac.uk THANK YOU FOR LISTENING f.vance@bath.ac.uk j.c.barnett@bath.ac.uk

Editor's Notes

  1. Thank you for inviting me to present the work we have been doing at the University of Bath in the UK. My name is Filipa Vance and I’m the head of research governance and compliance
  2. At Bath, in the last few years we lead on a root and branch review of our approaches to reviewing the ethical implications of our research. Not only was this the right thing to do for obvious reasons but the landscape in the UK, with the publication of the revised concordat to support research integrity, the campaign on open science supported by the UK reproducibility network, the reproducibility crisis reported in the literature, the role of the publishers and the research culture agenda driven by Research England, together with the review of bureaucracy in research and the establishment of UKCORI meant that the climate was ripe for change at many levels.
  3. Internally we faced many challenges which related to inefficient processes that were opaque and reactive which resulted in disengagement from users, poor ethics literacy and overall a negative experience. We wanted to change this and put in place streamlined effective and transparent approaches that enabled and facilitated high quality novel research projects. We also focused on a user-driven solution that was streamlined to provide an enriching step into the research project life cycle. To achieve this we re-designed our governance processes, re-imagined the ethics review process, purchased and customized a new digital system and appointed a team to provide support to researchers, reviewers and committees.
  4. We introduced a series of changes which included the establishment of 4 new interdisciplinary RECs that operate university wide; we launched a new digital system to facilitate the coordination of ethics review processes. And our central team was established
  5. At the same time we retained the requirement to uphold the highest standards of research integrity for all research staff and students, the need to seek committee-level review if your work involves humans or other animals, their tissue or data and our commitment to complying with regulatory frameworks
  6. As mentioned before our review focused on changing behaviors, for this we need to engage with people. Our governance structures are people centric and start at the top with the Academic ethics and integrity Committee who is accountable to Senate aid owns the strategy. The research ethics committees, report into AEIC and they are responsible for carrying out the ethics review with the Chairs, as members of AEIC taking a lead role in promoting a culture of research integrity, inputting into strategy At a Dept level we continue to develop subject specific support via the DREOs and centrally the research governance and compliance team supports the researchers, the DREOs, the ethics committees as well as being responsible for process improvement and policy development.
  7. The 3 aims for the research governance and compliance team are to enable, facilitate and support good quality ethical research. We enable through the ethics system – a fully customizable digital solution, with smart forms that respond to the information being provided by the user, allows for comments and guidance to be provided by the reviewers. We enable good practice through our monitoring and evaluation of the data being provided via this new digital system as well through other interviews such as our monthly newsletter. Finally, we develop and design policies to keep up with the development of research.
  8. We support researchers by giving advice either via the system or on letters of feedback, providing training and guidance and offering interventions for other input through our monthly open houses and our induction programme.
  9. We facilitate research through our programme of monitoring and audit exercises that allows for an understanding of risk and provides assurances that our research is compliant. We can use- in system data to inform compliance checks to be carried out and are able to report on wider research integrity matters through the system that includes a section on research integrity where it is possible to provide information about wider integrity matters such as Nagoya protocol, climate implications etc.
  10. With other research being considered at departmental level with a light touch peer review processe.
  11. Taken together, 12 months on we have a system in post that for researchers is more pleasant way of interacting as they only need to provide the information that they need, status can be tracked through the life cycle of the review, with prompts and checklists that improve the efficiency of the process. On the other hand reviewers only have to look into a single record to review the proposal, can make comments, keep a record of applications reviewed to monitor workloads and are able to work in a more efficient way. For the university the system and associated new processes and governance set up provides assurance that compliance is in place, better consistent standards being applied across the institution, improved research culture that makes rooms to continuous identify gaps and confirm our commitment through the monitoring and evaluation.