As researchers and scholars in DIT, it is important to consider the ethical issues that arise, or may arise, in any work which you propose to conduct. Increasingly, you are also accountable to external bodies and the public to demonstrate that the work you do follows 'best practice'.
Accordingly, the Research Ethics Committee was established to formulate ethics policy and procedures for all research and scholarship across DIT:
- To provide all DIT researchers and scholars, staff and students, with the resources and 'best practice' models for understanding and addressing ethical issues which arise in their research and scholarship
- To promote responsible research and scholarship, in all academic and organisational units and in centres/institutes, across DIT.
It will do this through the drafting of appropriate policies and procedures, and by oversight and monitoring of research practice across the Institute, and by the sponsorship of seminars and similar activities in order to better promote awareness and understanding of research ethics/responsible scholarship.
DIT's President, taking advice as appropriate, appoints members to the Research Ethics Committee. These should include:
- A chairperson and vice-chairperson, nominated by the President on the advice of the Director of Research & Enterprise, which may be from or additional to the other categories of members listed below
- A nominee from each of the Faculties of the Institute
- One representative from the Directorate of Research and Enterprise
- One representative from the Directorate of Academic Affairs
- One representative from DIT Governing Body
- Three professional people, at least one of whom should be independent of the Institute:
- A medically qualified person experienced in clinical research
- A person with a background in philosophy, ethics and/or equality issues
- A person experienced in research, with experience in research involving human and/or animal subjects
- A person with a legal background, preferably experienced in research issues
Because it is not practicable that the Committee will include specialists in all fields that may come before it, the Committee is given the power to co-opt individual(s) to consider special cases and/or for periods as determined.
- Committee members are nominated by each Faculty/Directorate, but are not in any way representative of, nor beholden to, the body that appoints it; nor is the Committee, as a whole, an arm of Institute management.
- Co-options are with the majority approval of the committee.
- A quorum will constitute of four members including the chairperson/vice chairperson.
- At least two of the total membership should be independent of the Institute.
- The chairperson acts impartially and has the casting vote.
Duration of membership
Members, Chairperson and Vice-chairperson are appointed for three years in the first instance. Two terms of appointment is the norm. As it is important not to lose particularly valuable and willing members of the committee simply because time has passed, they may serve more than two terms with the approval of the Ethics Committee.
The Chairperson has the responsibility for determining and ensuring that the range and balance of membership is appropriate.