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Human Research Ethics Committees

Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC)

The membership of the HRECs come from within UCD and include academic staff from a variety of schools across the humanities and sciences.  Each member is approved by the HREC and noted by the REC.  There are four main points of focus for the committee members:

  1. The HRECs review proposed research projects involving human subjects that fall within the jurisdiction of UCD, and approves all research projects that meet UCD requirements and are ethically acceptable. It fosters awareness and concern amongst UCD researchers and supervisors for all dimensions of ethical practice in human subjects.
  2. The HREC advises on policies and practices for the review, approval, monitoring, post approval reporting and administration of ethical research practice in UCD.
  3. The HREC adjudicates on the ethics of the proposed research projects it reviews using criteria developed and elaborated in reference to international best practice benchmarks and articulated in the Research Ethics Committee (REC) Policies and Guidelines. From this process it develops and publishes best practice policy in conducting ethical research.
  4. The HREC aspires to engage all relevant members of the university research community proactively in delivering research with human subjects that meets the highest international standards of ethical practice.

The UCD HREC is split into two reviewing committees. Both are sub-committees of the REC:

  • HREC-Humanities (HS)
  • HREC-Sciences (LS)

The main function of the each HREC is: 

  • to increase awareness of ethical principles in research through the review of research submissions,
  • to provide advice,
  • to develop best practice guidelines,
  • to provide training in research ethics to students and staff.

Both HRECs review submissions for research involving human subjects so as to safeguard the dignity, rights, safety, and well-being of actual or potential research participants, as well as the researchers. The committees ensure that research is conducted according to best practice and that the research adheres to the following values:

  • Maintains ethical standards of practice in research;
  • Protects human subjects of research from harm;
  • Ensures that the practice of fully informed consent is observed;
  • Preserves the subjects’ rights;
  • Provides reassurance to the public and outside bodies that all the above are being done.

For more information on the operating procedures for the HRECs please see the HREC Guideline Summary.

The health, well-being, and care of research participants will always take precedence over the goals of the research and of teaching.

Contact UCD Office of Research Ethics

UCD Research, Tierney Building, Belfield, Dublin 4.
E: research.ethics@ucd.ie