Terms of Reference

UCD School of Medicine Research Ethics Committee (SM-REC)

Terms of Reference


The UCD School of Medicine Research Ethics Committee (SM-REC) is constituted as a committee of the UCD School of Medicine and as a sub-committee of the UCD Human Research Ethics Committee (UCD-HREC). The Committee will review applications for ethical approval for research conducted by registered undergraduate and graduate taught students on behalf of UCD-HREC. The Committee is established for the purpose of ensuring that all research carried out as part of undergraduate and graduate taught programmes in the UCD School of Medicine is undertaken in accordance with ethical principles and best practice standards for integrity in research. The Committee will act to ensure that all research is subjected to critical scrutiny by experienced researchers before such research commences. It is important to note that ethical approval will not be granted retrospectively.

Role and functions

The SM-REC will:

1. Review all applications for ethical approval from undergraduate and graduate taught students in the School of Medicine.
2. Give directions to applicants and their academic supervisors (if necessary) in relation to the applications received and, where appropriate, refer the applicant to the            UCD-HREC-LS or to another committee for review.
3. Through the Chair, submit a list of the names, student numbers, project titles and final outcomes of the ethical review process to the UCD Office of Research Ethics.
4. Maintain records of meetings and submit an annual report to the Head of School, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation, Associate Dean for Graduate Taught            Studies, and Chair of the UCD-HREC-LS.
5. Conduct its business having due regard to the need for the timely processing of applications, to satisfy the academic requirements of the relevant programmes.

Reporting responsibilities

The Committee will report to the Head of School and the Chair of the UCD Human Research Ethics Committee.


To establish a core membership, the SM-REC will require two academic representatives from each of the undergraduate programmes in the School which have core research modules (who will each require an alternate). In addition, two representatives of the School of Medicine Student Summer Research Awards (SSRA) and two representatives (and alternates) from the graduate taught programmes. Other members will be co-opted as necessary. For example, any researcher is a de facto member of the SM-REC and is, at a minimum, required to review applications based on a 1:1 ratio, i.e. if submitting one application, they must review at least one other.

Therefore, at a minimum, the Committee shall comprise the following 12 core members:

  • Two academic staff representing each of: BSc Biomedical Health and Life Sciences, BSc Physiology, and BSc Radiography programmes (six individuals) 
  • Two academic staff to represent graduate taught programmes.
  • Two academic staff to represent the SSRA.
  • One nominee of the Chair of the UCD-HREC-LS.
  • One administrator at the grade of SEA, who will act as the Committee Secretary.
  • Other academic members will be co-opted as necessary.

The Head of School will approve membership and will appoint the Chair of the Committee. Two Deputy Chairs will be appointed, from the core membership, by the Committee.


Either the Chair, or a Deputy Chair, must be present for all meetings. A quorum of seven is required.

Frequency of meetings

Meetings will take place at least on a quarterly basis and will be scheduled in keeping with the timelines required to support the successful delivery of the programmes.