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University Research Committees

Help us to improve the quality of research at the University of Southampton.

Responsible ethical conduct and research integrity constitute an intrinsic part of the entire research lifecycle and is fundamental in achieving research excellence. The University is committed to ensuring that all our research is conducted with integrity and in line with ethics principles and frameworks.

The University would like to appoint members of the public to become Lay Members for several Committees including:

To become a Lay Member, you should not have a recent direct involvement with the University - i.e. not have studied at, been employed by, or held offices with the University in the last 3 years .

Training will be provided together with the reimbursement of reasonable expenses (e.g. travel, childcare) and an annual honorarium of £250.

Please see below for more information on each Committee, what the role will include, and how to apply.

University Research Ethics Committee

The University of Southampton embraces a wide range of research activities, which brings with it a diverse range of ethical considerations. In a rapidly changing world, where constant innovations in science and technology can bring both benefits as well as possible risks, ethical issues should be interpreted broadly to ensure respect for the welfare of human participants, animals, natural environment and cultural heritage at every stage of the research lifecycle.

University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) is responsible for developing, reviewing and monitoring the implementation of the University Research Ethics Policies and guidance, for overseeing the University’s ethics review process, and fostering a culture of responsible and ethical conduct of research amongst the University academic community.

It is chaired by the Vice-President Research and Enterprise and meets 3 times per academic year. Meeting Agenda and papers are normally distributed a week before the Committee meeting.

Lay Members

The University is seeking to appoint 2 Lay Members for UREC.

Lay Members are important members of UREC who provide independent oversight of the University ethics framework and ethics review process. Your role will be to contribute to discussions and comment on papers, including providing feedback on proposed policies and guidance.

As a member of UREC you will be expected to attend 3 meetings per academic year (either in person or via the remote means) which last for 2 hours, as well as any training sessions/events.

Training will be provided together with the reimbursement of reasonable expenses (e.g. travel, childcare) and an annual honorarium of £250.

The term of appointment is normally for 3 years with an option of up to 2 renewals (at the discretion of UREC Chair).

Person Specification:

If you are interested in becoming a UREC Lay Member you should meet the following criteria:

How to apply:

If you would like to become a Lay Member of UREC, and for any further information, please email risethic@soton.ac.uk

Faculty Research Ethics Committees

Faculty Research Ethics Committees (FRECs) are responsible for conducting ethics reviews of studies undertaken by staff and students at the University of Southampton. This includes identification of possible ethical issues and ensuring that researchers have fully considered and addressed any concerns, before ethics approval is granted.

Review of ethics applications is done via the University online platform and does not require face-to-face meetings.

FRECs are also responsible for promoting awareness of research ethics and high-quality research in their respective Faculties and assisting with the development of ethics policies and guidance. Every FREC meets 2-3 times a year.

We are currently seeking Lay Members for the following FRECs:

Lay Members

Lay Members are important members of every FRECs who provide independent oversight of the ethics review and approval process.

As a member of FREC you will be expected to perform ethics reviews of research projects submitted by University staff and students, alongside ethics reviewers who are University staff members. The number of reviews varies between Committees but typically may involve 1-2 reviews per week, with an approximate time commitment of 1 hour per review (depending on the application). Reviews should be conducted within 10 working days where possible.

You will be also expected to attend 2-3 FREC meetings per academic year (either in person or via remote means) and any training sessions.

Training will be provided together with the reimbursement of reasonable expenses (e.g. travel, childcare) and an annual honorarium of £250.

The term of appointment is normally for 3 years with an option of up to 2 renewals (at the discretion of the FREC Chair).

Person Specification:

If you are interested in becoming a FREC Lay Member you should meet the following criteria:

How to apply:

If you would like to become a FREC Lay Member, and for any further information, please email risethic@soton.ac.uk . Please specify if you have a preference which FREC you would like to join.

Research Integrity and Governance Committee (RIGC)

Research integrity/responsible conduct of research means conducting research in a way which allows others to have trust and confidence in the methods used and the findings of the research. The University of Southampton is committed to the Concordat to Support Research Integrity (October 2019) and undertaking our research activities in line with its principles.

The core responsibility of the Research Integrity and Governance Committee (RIGC) is to develop and foster a culture of research integrity, and to promote responsible research conduct and governance amongst the University academic community. This includes developing, reviewing and monitoring policies and guidance related to research integrity, and oversight and advice in regard to provision of research integrity training to staff and students.

Examples of the Policies within RIGC remit include:

RIGC is chaired by the Vice-President Research and Enterprise and meets 3 times per academic year. Meeting Agenda and papers are normally distributed a week before the Committee meeting.

For more information please see our Research Integrity webpage where you can read our latest Annual Research Integrity Statement (2018-2019).

Lay Member

The University is seeking to appoint 1 Lay Member for RIGC.

As a Lay Member of RIGC you will provide independent oversight of the University research integrity processes and framework. Your role will be to contribute to discussions and comment on papers, including providing feedback on proposed policies and guidance.

You will be expected to attend 3 meetings per academic year (either in person or via the remote means) which last for 2 hours, as well as any training sessions/events.

Training will be provided together with the reimbursement of reasonable expenses (e.g. travel, childcare) and an annual honorarium of £250.

The term of appointment is normally for 3 years with an option of up to 2 renewals (at the discretion of RIGC Chair).

Person Specification:

If you are interested in becoming a RIGC Lay Member you should meet the following criteria:

How to apply:

If you would like to become a RIGC Lay Member, and for any further information, please email researchintegrity@soton.ac.uk .

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