About the Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee (HSREC)

 

Functions of this office include the administration of the University of the Free State’s Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee (HSREC).

The HSREC office manages the systems, administration and operations of Health Research Ethics review.

All health research must, in terms of the National Health Act No 61.2003, be reviewed and approved by an accredited research ethics committee prior to the start of any research activities that anticipate interaction with human participants, the use of potentially identifiable personal records, tissue specimens or other information.

The primary purpose of the HSREC is to support researchers towards compliance in the protection of human participant safety, rights and welfare in health research.

The objectives of the HSREC are:

  • to protect the human participant in research;
  • to acknowledge human rights in health research;
  • to maintain high ethical standards in health research;
  • to foster an awareness of ethical aspects in the health sciences; and
  • to prevent impermissible research and research practices.

The composition and function of the HSREC must meet standards laid down in the Department of Health’s Ethics in Health Research: Principles, Structures and Processes, 2015, and requirements specified in the US Federal Wide Assurance. The HSREC aims to meet these requirements as far as reasonably possible.

Scope of practice

 

The scope of practice of the HSREC is applicable to:

1. Members of the Faculty of Health Sciences:

  • Any research to be conducted by members of the Faculty of Health Sciences must be submitted to the HSREC for review and approval.
  • Research conducted abroad by members of the Faculty of Health Sciences must be submitted to the relevant Ethics Committee for approval as stipulated. This letter of approval should be forwarded to the HSREC, which will take note of the approval.
  • Should the researcher prefer to submit the application to the HSREC of this university, such protocol will be dealt with according to the Standard Operating Procedures.

2. Students (under- and postgraduate) of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

3. Any other member of a faculty or department at the University of the Free State.

4. Any other person or institution seeking ethical approval for research studies conducted in the Free State, including:

  • Private organisations/individuals;
  • Pharmaceutical companies;
  • Governmental departments;
  • NGOs (non-governmental organisations);
  • Other higher-education institutions; 
  • Other research institutions/organisations.
     

Consult Service

 

The HSREC office strives to create a service friendly environment where researchers can access support and guidance for all ethical and regulatory aspects of health research. Contact our office to book a consult where you will be provided with one-on-one guidance on submitting a protocol for ethics review. The office will also facilitate short group information sessions on health research ethics administration upon invitation.




Federal wide assurance (FWA)

 

The HSREC is registered as an institutional review board (IRB) with the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) of the USA Department of Health and Human Services; 

IRB organisation identifier: IRB00006240 
Unique Assurance Number: FWA00012784
Unique Organisation Number: IORG0005187


FACULTY CONTACT

Central Information Office
T: +27 51 401 3739
F: +27 86 579 5154

E: StudentAdminFHS@ufs.ac.za

Student Administration
Faculty Administration

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