Ethical & Protocol Review

Introduction

The Ethical and Protocol Review Committee (EPRC) of the College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Korle-Bu Campus is responsible for the ethical review of all applications submitted to it by students and faculty of the College of Health Sciences (CHS). The EPRC also handle applications from external institutions such as the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, West African Postgraduate Colleges and other health care institutions.

The pursuit of scholarly work and research will often involve the use of human participants for data collection and analysis. The EPRC therefore reviews human participants’ research proposals to ensure that:

  • the rights and welfare of human participants used in research studies are protected;
  • risks have been considered and minimized;
  • the potential for benefit has been identified and maximized;
  • all human participants only volunteer to participate in research after being provided with legally effective informed consent
  • research is conducted in an ethical manner and in compliance with established standards.
  • individuals seeking to conduct such research may not solicit participant participation or begin data collection until they have obtained ethical clearance from EPRC.
  • the EPRC is authorized to review, approve, require modifications, or disapprove research activities conducted by researchers using human participants.
  • the EPRC will evaluate the science and ethics of the proposed study 

The primary goal of the EPRC is to protect the rights and welfare of human participants in research studies. To achieve its objective, the EPRC shall:

  1. Offer guidance to investigators in the design and content of their research protocol.
  2. Review all planned research involving human participants prior to initiation of the research in order to minimize potential harm to human participants.
  3. Approve research that meets established criteria for protection of human participants.
  4. Monitor approved research to ascertain that human participants are adequately protected.

The EPRC is registered with the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) with FWA: 000185779; IORG: 0005170 and IRB: IRB00006220.

It is an independent and competent body set up to review, evaluate and decide on the scientific and ethical merits of research protocols. The EPRC follows Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) with clearly spelt out terms of reference, membership, meetings and criteria for protocol reviews. The committee meets on the last Thursday of every month of the year except in July to review protocols. A number of expedited reviews occur as and when necessary. Submission to the Committee should be made three (3) weeks before the meeting at which the submissions would be reviewed. Click here to view the meeting dates and deadline for submission of protocols.

Role of the EPRC

Guided by the principles set forth in the Belmont Report, Council for International Organization of Medical Sciences (CIOMS), the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki, Nuremberg Code and other internationally recognized principles of human rights, the EPRC assures that:

 

  • ·      Risks to participants are minimized and are reasonable in relation to  the anticipated benefits
  • ·      Selection of participants is equitable
  • ·      Informed consent is obtained from each prospective participant or the participants’ legal guardian or healthcare decision-maker
  • ·      Informed consent is appropriately documented.
  • ·      Provisions are made for the protection of the privacy of participants and that confidentiality of data is maintained
  • ·      Provisions are made for monitoring the data collected to ensure safety of participants.
  • ·      Safeguards are included to protect members of vulnerable population groups
  • ·      To act in the full interest of actual or potential research participants and communities.

The EPRC will conduct review of all types of research proposals involving human subjects with a view to safeguard the safety, rights and well-being of all study participants. The goals of research, however important, should never be permitted to override the health and well-being of the research subjects. In connection with this, the EPRC will examine the aspects of informed consent process and risk benefit ratio. It will review the proposals before commencement of study as well as monitor the research throughout the duration of the study through regular progress reports until completion. The committee will also examine compliance with all regulatory requirements, applicable guidelines and laws. All proposals submitted would be subjected to the same ethical and review standard.

 

Composition of the EPRC

The EPRC is multidisciplinary and multi-sectorial in composition, including persons with relevant but diverse scientific expertise, balanced age and gender distribution, who have the qualifications and experience to review and evaluate scientific and medical ethics of research protocol. The EPRC also has a Lawyer and a Reverend Minister representing the larger community. Independence and competence are the two hallmarks of this ethical and protocol review committee. The Officers of the EPRC are the Chair, Vice Chair and the Administrator with a Secretariat.

 

Please diownload protocol submission deadlines, application forms and other guidelines and templates below;

Contact Us:

Physical Address:       Research Office, First Floor GEMP Building, Room 6 & 7, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Korle-Bu.

Postal Address:          College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, P.O.Box KB 52, Korle-Bu, Accra

Digital Address:          GA-270-0053, Harley St, Accra, Ghana

Email Address:            eprc@chs.edu.gh

Telephone:                 +233 [030] 294 0528, +233 [030] 2665103