REC independence

Research organisations (ROs) are responsible for ensuring that the research ethics committees (RECs) within their organisation act, and are seen to act, independently. They should be free from bias and undue influence from: 

  • the RO in which they are located
  • the researchers whose proposals they consider 
  • the personal or financial interests of their members. 

The independence of a REC is founded on its membership, on strict rules regarding conflict of interests, and on regular monitoring and accountability for decisions made by the REC (see also Conflicts of interest, complaints and appeals).

RECs should be constituted and operate in accordance with ESRC guidelines. See the follow sections for more information: