Discover how a Research Ethics Committee works

For those who intend to enter a Higher Education Institution (HEI), it is interesting to have information about the Research Ethics Committee (CEP). One reason is that it helps students adopt proper academic work procedures that require more detailed study.

As a university becomes aware of the rules to be followed to develop a study that is important to society, the greater the chances of obtaining good results and contributing to the faculty being recognized for its services.

In this post, we will point out a series of factors related to the committee to help you to understand how this instance works. Check out!

See how it can be organized.

The CEP consists of a multidisciplinary and independent collegiate. It must be created in institutions that research with human beings in the national territory. This committee aims to defend the interest, integrity and dignity of those involved in the study. This attitude is essential for the work to be by ethical standards.

According to the vice-coordinator of the Research Ethics Committee at the Faculty of Rondônia (FARO), Deusilene Vieira, the CEP is formed by professors from different courses at the faculty, such as Law and Engineering (Civil and Forestry). There are also external representatives, such as a professor from another institution. This requirement is a rule established by the National Research Ethics Commission (CONEP).

There are several assignments that the committee must perform. One of them is to analyze all research projects submitted by a CONEP platform. “The researcher must enter the content of the studies that reach FARO professors via the system in this tool”, explained the vice-coordinator.

After receiving the project, the material is sent to a reporter, part of the Research Ethics Committee. It evaluates the researcher’s work according to criteria related to the ethics involved. It also checks if the data presented represent the proposal. That is if the title indicated is related to the justification, objectives and methodology.

“The analysis encompasses the risks and benefits related to the research, the expected results and what this project represents for society. In addition, it encompasses the benefit for those who are using the research and for those who are going to make this initiative happen”, explained Deusilene Vieira.

After the evaluation, the rapporteur exposes the project at the committee’s monthly meeting, places all the proposals presented by the researcher and discusses whether or not the study complies with the current ethical prescriptions.

Rules

For the committee to follow best practices, it is necessary to follow CONEP resolutions in the public domain. Anyone can have access to the rules that specify all the requirements to be followed by a  search.

“FARO cannot create its own assessment rules. We always follow the national ethics regiment. So much so that the committee is evaluated for following all this regulation. If I change this regulation, the committee may be punished”, explained the vice-coordinator.

Respecting the established procedures is essential for researchers to carry out work within the Brazilian ethical regulations. This causes them to be evaluated against all existing regulatory parameters.

For the user, the research will provide results, directly or indirectly, which will benefit them, as the study data can complement some situations in the future.

Each survey has its direction. Therefore, the main benefit is the application of the study in the medium and long term. “For this to be better defined, we carry out a data survey to use the research to bring improvements to the educational institution and the system”, reinforced Deusilene.

Understand why the committee is needed

The presence of the Research Ethics Committee prevents studies from being developed outside the ethical parameters followed in Brazil. It is also necessary to insert a culture of academic work following CONEP guidelines, which is very positive for an educational institution to carry out research relevant to society.

The ethical issue is left aside when there is no active committee within the institution. Researchers and students must be involved to pursue studies that have clear objectives, and that can be achieved.

Implementing a committee with attentive reporters is essential for researchers to adapt their work to current standards. “If this care is not taken, you harm the user who will participate because he will not be able to monitor the use of the information provided for the research. This causes harm to society as well as to the institution”, emphasized the deputy coordinator.

Paper

The Research Ethics Committee is crucial because it plays a role in developing teaching within the institution. It helps teachers and undergraduate students to be more involved in high-quality academic work. This is a way to bring science to the students’ daily lives.

Due to the presence of the committee, it becomes feasible to work with the teachers on the culture of thought and the execution of a project. The professor must understand that the study must be internally evaluated by a faculty body for this to be effective.

“Much of the research carried out is related to the human being. In this case, all must have ethical authorization. We managed to show the teacher the need to follow the national regulations. At  FARO, the committee has existed since December 2018, and it was actively implemented in the first half of 2019″, added Deusilene Vieira.

In evaluating the vice-coordinator, all educational institutions should have this committee since it highly values ​​the projects developed. Another positive point is to create a work culture following ethical conduct, especially in research involving human beings. After all, these studies can bring benefits to society and participants.

A Research Ethics Committee is a fundamental step for a college or university to adopt standards that make academic work relevant to society. This is essential for the institution to be more recognized by students and other target audience segments.

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