Options #2 and #3 would include participation by UofL representatives in UA REB governance and policy development as well as full access to UofA human ethics research and protocol development training for students, staff and faculty with both in-person and online seminars, tailored learning opportunities, and programs provided by UofA research ethics staff.
We are currently operating within the paradigm of Option #3 with minimal involvement of UofL researchers contributing to the UofA REB. We are, however, seeking nominations for additional members to participate in the UofA REB in order to ensure that we are taking full advantage of the opportunities to work alongside our colleagues from the UofA, but also to provide UofL contributions to the work of reviewing and approving human ethics research methods.
Some of the work for the pilot year must include setting clear plans for recruitment, retention, and succession planning for the REB/HPRC members and co-chair. For the size and scope of human participant research conducted at the UofL, a minimum HPRC of 10 members is reasonable, alongside an implemented plan for chair training and succession.
We are not alone in navigating these types of potential changes. Workloads, research complexity, and the need for an increasing breadth and variety of specialized expertise (including the lenses of Indigenization and EDI for all methods, not only those that specifically reference or interact with those populations) associated with human research ethics reviews and post-approval oversight are growing rapidly. Many institutions, including those much larger than ours, are contemplating how to carefully and respectfully share these responsibilities, partner across institutions, and complete the important work to enable the continuation of safe and ethical research.
Chapter 8 of the TCPS2 outlines some ways in which institutions can work together to share this important work and we look forward to your feedback, engagement and discussion, and wisdom of experience.