Institutional Ethics Review Committee
The Tenwek Hospital Institutional Ethics Review Committee (IERC), formerly the Tenwek Hospital Institutional Research and Ethics Committee (IREC), has been in existence since the 1990s to oversee the ethical issues surrounding research at Tenwek Hospital. Our IERC is accredited in Kenya by the National Commission for Science Technology and innovation (NACOSTI). The IERC is composed of a diverse group of individuals who advocate for and ensure research is to be done in an ethical manner. The committee is responsible for reviewing all proposed research projects, evaluating them, and ultimately deciding whether the research should be allowed to be conducted based upon the ethical and scientific merits of the project. As a NACOSTI-approved IERC, the committee remains committed to protecting the rights, safety, and dignity of individuals and communities who participate in research as governed by the applicable laws and regulations within Kenya and other relevant international bodies.
Research is defined as, “the systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to contribute to generalizable knowledge.” If you are doing a survey, a medical chart review, analyzing data, or any similar systematic investigation that you plan to present or report on to anyone outside of Tenwek Hospital, you are doing research and must have that research reviewed by the Tenwek Hospital IERC.
Tenwek Hospital IERC Review
To adequately and appropriately review and renew research proposals, the Tenwek Hospital IERC requests an application to be submitted to the Tenwek Hospital Research Manager who forwards all of the documents to the committee.
All communication about research projects is to be conducted through the Research Manager who facilitates communication between researchers and the Chair and Executive Secretary of the IERC.
To remain independent, a fee is collected for each proposal. A fee schedule is in place. Contact the Research Manager for details on how to submit the appropriate payment. This fee does not guarantee approval; rather, it enables review for a decision.
Review of research proposals takes time if it is to be done well. This should be appropriately included in the researchers’ expectations for their project. The committee meets monthly on every third Tuesday. To assist in timely review, ensure all of the necessary documents are submitted at least two weeks prior to the next meeting. The Research Manager can assist with the logistics of the applications, but it is the responsibility of the researcher to ensure all necessary documents are submitted.
The Researcher submitting a proposal is responsible for all the necessary components to ensure research is conducted in a scientifically rigorous and ethically appropriate manner. If there are questions about how to do this, the researcher should reach out to his or her supervisors or educational program for advice. There are educational resources available to Tenwek Hospital affiliates – contact the Research Manager for details.
If you are aware of any research activity that you believe is unethical or questionable, contact Research at firstname.lastname@example.org/0728091900 ext #1680